In Praise of Wolves

Copyright © Isabella Dalzell 2020. All RIghts Reserved.

In Praise of Wolves


Hunting to eat, hunted to extinction

for the price of a sheep, their natural prey.


Now in parks, released from zoos

different enclosures for the European Grey

and the imported Canadian Black. With no

wild wolvine teachers, they do not know

their place in the pack or how to hunt. They

do not know the rules, live in restricted freedom

fed by keepers, in the woodland compound.


And then, a few strays from Italy re-wild the

hinterland of the sanctuary. The grey-furred

white-faced wolf raises its muzzle and bays

into a clouded sky. Eerie wailing; human hackles

rise in the homesteads clinging to the rock as

the wolves call to each other across the valleys

The Italians would say he’s just talking to his chums.


Stealthy increase. Seen trotting down the road

by local farmers. Re-wilding brings repair.

The wolves prey on grazing animals, setting off

a chain reaction. Saplings thrive; forests form

beavers build dams, meadows transform into lakes

fish, waterfowl and insects flourish. Birds and

animals feed on carcasses. Stagnation reverses.


The ecosystem weaves together. With

the beasts at the top no longer protected

the food chain is restored. The plants grow

again, bringing repair to the Alpine world

increasing the oxygen, purifying the air

restoring the ozone layer preventing scorch

reviving neighbouring lands.


And the crashing waters of the mountains

flow timeless from the Alps to the Mediterranean.