Wulfgar, the dark-furred fox roamed far and wide over the wilds of Dartmoor. He spoke with other foxes, conversed with otters by the rivers and exchanged greetings with the badgers at dusk. He was happy with his lot, had managed to escape the relentless pursuit of the hunt, and had now found the love of his life, Teg. But life was not going to be easy for the pair. The man trying to catch him was Scoble, an ex-veteran from the war with a drink problem. His streak of cruelness and with the assistance of his dog, Jacko, they had it in for the foxes in particular, as well as wildlife in general with their traps, gins and snares.
The talking animals makes this feel like a children’s book, but the scenes within are not. The is as much about death as it is about living life and is as full of the tangled emotions that go to make this up. Carter’s lyrical writing has an intensity to it, you feel the wind ruffle the fur, understand the smells of the night as they track their prey and share the euphoria of being alive racing across the Tors. The writing is firmly grounded in the granite bedrock of Dartmoor and he brings the natural world alive to the reader. This re-published edition has a stunning cover, with a beautiful introduction by Melissa Harrison on how it inspired her to become a writer. 3.5 stars