'I am the wolf, taker of life: the predator. I attack with my eyes open and see death bright and fierce leap in the glance of my prey'
In a bleak winter landscape a wolf is starved and weakening. He is the predator, but the harshness of nature, the death that stalks all of the wild forest, beings to challenge his supremacy, and his understanding of himself.
'I can see myself - I can see the large black shape planted on short legs, the thick shoulders and neck and the huge broad head with horns pointing skyward. I swish my tail and snort and stamp and I can see a bull, doing these things'
Under a blazing sun a bull paces back and forth, his skin flickering in the heat. Weighed down by his own mass, his senses are dulled by the dust and lethargy of the farm. A boy tends him from a distance, and in this boy he senses the possibility of a different path: of swirls of colour and movement, of his own power and strength - a premonition of what he might create through violence.
In these two novellas, presented here in one edition for the first time, Joseph Smith transports the reader wholly into the mind of an animal, exploring the violence of the forest and the bull-ring from a new perspective, in writing both immediate and incandescent.