The Wolves of Stanislav

What a story!


The meeting took place just two and a half years ago, but the odd thing about our encounter is that even after such a short time and even though I have thought about it almost every day since, I am unable to remember a single thing he told me about the city before he mentioned the wolves.”

If you’re a story-teller, or even a story-lover, that sentence is perfect.

“…then I began to see the wolves, dozens of wolves loping through the square, moving along in small packs as they searched for food in the abandoned city. The wolves are the endpoint of the nightmare, the farthest outcome of the stupidity that leads to the devastations of war, in this case the three million Jews murdered in those eastern bloodlands along with countless other civilians and soldiers from other religions and no religion, and once the slaughter has ended, wild wolves come crashing through the gates of the city. The wolves are not just symbols of war. They are the spawn of war and what war brings to the earth.”

As the Covid-19 virus moved through our lands, forcing us indoors, away from public places, the most amazing thing began to happen: wild animals began to appear in our streets and villages.

You probably saw the story of the wild goats in Wales, and the coyotes in various towns that sometimes didn’t even know they had a native coyote population.

Human absence made life easier, a bit, for other animals.

But did you think to turn any of this experience into a story we would all recognize and want to believe?

Which brings me back to the place where I began and the question that has no answer: What to believe when you can’t be sure whether a supposed fact is true or not true?

In the absence of any information that could confirm or deny the story he told me, I choose to believe the poet. And whether they were there or not, I choose to believe in the wolves.”

If you love stories, and story-tellers, you can read Paul Auster’s story HERE.

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