When the dingoes came around that evening, I was alone. I was stranded on a hillside out in the middle of nowhere with no vehicle, no torch, no weapon and no retreat. My husband had taken the car to go and get a caravan, which would be our temporary home, leaving me by the side of the road with an open trailer of our belongings and two cats to look after.
He was already hours late and the dingoes arrived as the last light was going out of the sky. They moved fast and silently, using the dirt road as their track, not a yip, not a bark, nothing. They were a pack on a mission.
I saw them coming and stood up, not sure what my best option was. They detected me at the same moment. I knew that because, although they kept coming and did not change their pace, they slipped off the edge of the road and disappeared into the dense foliage on the side opposite mine.
I never saw or heard them as they circled around me and kept going. I know they kept going because I would see them again, on other days, coming from the other direction. But on this night, I did not know what they intended or where they went.
Then the night landed for real, and out there, when you’ve got no shelter at all, no light, no distant glow from civilization, and not even a box of matches, you are very aware of carnivores in the dark.