The darkness is my friend. Like Macbeth, I have supp'd full of horrors, way back in my youth, and now nothing much spooks me. So I like the night. I like to walk in the shadows, where I feel at home. I know others are afraid but I feel nothing more than slight excitement when an unidentifiable sound breaks the silence. I work on the principle that I'm likely the most dangerous thing I'll meet.


Tonight at midnight I went out, the need was on me. I caught his eye. There were no words, by the merest flicker of an eyebrow he knew what I was offering. His face responded and as I walked off under the orange glow of the streetlight I could hear his step steady, some way behind me.


I turned off the road along the unlit footpath that leads to the woods and a few yards in I stopped and waited, checking that he'd seen my change of direction and that he was still following me. He was, and I walked on. We didn't acknowledge each other. That's not how it's done. He followed me at a discreet distance along the path to the point where it enters the woods and loses its definition. And now, in the woods, he caught up with me, so close he brushed my side, radiating his eagerness despite the dark, even the moon obscured by the thick leaf cover. His senses were attuned to mine, reaching out, hanging on my affirmation. It didn't take much. I only shrugged and whispered “Go on, then, boy!” and he bounded off through the undergrowth, leaping high over the brambles, his tail wagging in delight as he investigated all the damp night smells that the woodland offers. He loves the night too.



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