Good news! South African National Parks has at last got the co-operation and funding to resume the African Wild Dog Project that was abandoned five years ago.
I am a great admirer of the work you have done with African wild dogs living in sanctuaries. Your dedicated research and obvious passion over the years has had a direct effect on the way these remarkable animals are perceived by the public.
Since you were part of the original team to propose this project, and in light of your untiring work and ground-breaking research, we would like to offer you a place on the new team as senior co-ordinator, reporting to the project director.
We have assembled as many of the conservationists originally put forward for the project by yourself and Dr Ben Duval five years ago. Of this group, Ben Duval will head up the project. The team will consist of Alan Jeffreys, Dennis Williams, Sophie Kyle and Adrian Barnard, a wildlife filmmaker.
I have attached a contract we would like you to sign, and then please contact our office so we can make your travel arrangements. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. We look forward to working with you.
Mrs Hannah was frantic with worry, but she would not let it show. Caro needed her mother’s strength this morning, and a voice of reason. So instead of saying, ‘Caro, do not do this! Turn the offer down,’ she put the e-mail on the table and picked up her coffee cup.
Caro sat opposite her at the kitchen table that had been part of family life in the Hannah household for more than twenty years. Cheerful blue and yellow curtains framed a portion of grey English sky and the aroma of toast and coffee hovered in the air around them. But none of this homeliness did anything to lighten either woman’s mood. Mrs Hannah took a deep breath.
‘Think very carefully before you decide, Caro. You will come face-to-face with Ben again. You will have to work with him every day. After what happened between the two of you, do you think you could do that?’
Caro ran a distracted hand through glossy black hair.
‘I’ve done nothing but think about it, Mum. I don’t think I can face him, but do I have a choice?’