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Mother always fussed over Granny, living alone in the woods. Still, the old superstitions about wildlife being ‘something we need to keep in check, to dominate and control.’

A seriously ‘humans first’ attitude. Not like nowadays. Conservation finally became more important. And I have my dream job, Senior Wildlife Officer for the whole forest, checking in on the top predators, the wolves and bears are my favourite.

I remember the day I realised that was what my future held.

I’d been asked to go over to grans house with some food for her, the usual cupcakes and casseroles in a basket that people think it is good for someone who is a bit off colour.

Anyway, I got there easily enough, bit chilly still so I wore my favourite red poncho with the hood and some good strong thigh boots, very sexy if I say so myself.

When I got to the Gran’s door though, she was already well enough to get up and about, though still shuffling in her nightgown.

We were having a lovely chinwag and sharing the muffins when we heard the howling in the background.

It seemed a long way off but then a second howling came from a different direction, the other side of the cottage. We didn’t think anything of it, just the wolves getting ready for their evening chat. I was staying the night anyway, so it didn’t matter. Then we heard the sound of guns cracking loudly through the forest evening.

I shot out of Gran’s front door immediately. I knew they were some idiotic rednecks who seem to hate wolves just because they had previously got some bad press. But they are such magnificent creatures, though mum is still wary of them, and the bears. Treat them with respect though, don’t interfere with them and they leave you right alone, mostly.

I followed the sound of the guns and quickly found the men stalking the wolves. They are so easy to find compared to their prey, lacking style and class really. The wolves know you are there.

I stepped into the clearing and called out to them. All three of them stopped dead in their tracks. Remember the thigh-length boots, well they did the trick. I wasn’t born yesterday. I know how to divert the attention of a couple of horny rednecks. But I could still run in those boots. Cross country champion at school back then, still dressing to kill for no reason, except that I found my reason, dressing to stop killing instead. I still wear boots of course, but more the sturdy marching variety. I managed to lead them right away from the wolves and that was when I realised, that was what I wanted to do from now on. Protect the wolves from rednecks. They still try to get past me, but I have their numbers. The wolves and I get on very well, first name terms, never any trouble.

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