We’d been tracking that dog for three days and in three days we’d seen enough to know it needed tracking. The wallaby it had brought down on the ridge looked as if it had been hit by a train. Crows picked at what was left.
That night we heard it, always moving, just below the snow-line. We followed it in the morning, along a steep gully, only to have it double back behind us. It led us deep into wilderness country, away from the trails and the cattlemen’s huts. It left a wombat, its body split, and further on a little roo. We knew from its tracks what a monster it was, and from the carnage we knew it was powerful too. Ruthless. It loved blood. The roo, a fresh kill, hadn’t been eaten at all; just torn apart and left for us to find. It was as if the dog was hunting us, leaving the carcases as lures. Howling to make us follow. Leaving its mark on the bush. Until we followed it into a kind of ravine. When Phil dropped back the animal took him. One savage wound on my partner’s neck left his head and body barely joined. Now I’m circling, rifle at the ready as the beast circles unseen, above and around. Close, closer. Closing in.