Helen Macdonald wrote the award-winning ‘H is for Hawk‘ (2014). It’s a rich and detailed account of the author’s struggles to train a goshawk during a period of deep mourning for her father. I read it last year and felt powerfully connected with a creature very alien from my day-to-day.
Here’s her account of another wild encounter, this time with a boar deep in the Forest of Dean. This kind of story is an evocative reminder of the world beyond the keyboard.
A few years ago, I walked through an English forest with an old friend who told me there was something living in it that I had never seen before. Intrigued, I stood with him by a barbed-wire fence running across leaf litter dappled with sunlight. It was very quiet — just the sifting of a faint breeze through the trees and a robin singing from a holly bush. My friend whistled, called, then whistled again, and I felt a flicker of recognition as a dark shape flitted between trees about 60 or 70 yards away and then ran toward us. It was a wild boar. I’ve seen images of them all my life: razor-backed beasts on ancient vases, in illustrations in medieval manuscripts, slumped in front of men with rifles in old trophy photographs. And now here one was, called into the real world.
Excerpted from ‘A Hint of Danger in the Forest’ by Helen Macdonald in The New York Times Read the whole article.