On a road trip across the country, photographer and writer Shreve Stockton falls under the dizzying spell of Wyoming's beatific landscapes and peaceful atmosphere.
Before long, she returns to stay: she moves her life from New York City to the small town of Ten Sleep, meets a cowboy, and begins to raise, thanks to her new boyfriend, a rescued coyote pup. Stockton decides to document her first year with the coyote, which she names Charlie, by taking daily photographs of him, and it's through this experience that her real journey begins.
Coyotes are the ultimate predators in Wyoming, and in order to protect Charlie from people who want to destroy coyotes and their innate wildness, Stockton shelters him in her tiny log cabin. As she effectively raises Charlie in a domesticated setting, the line between wild and tame becomes blurred. Charlie is wide-eyed, loving, and loyal, yet he's also a hunter full of feral curiosity and instinct. Just like Charlie, she reflects, Stockton herself tends to run wherever her whims take her. Ironically, in raising Charlie, she is offered a sense of constancy.
Stockton initially approaches raising Charlie rather lightheartedly, and her prose reflects that attitude. As the coyote matures, however, so does the writing, with insouciance giving way to awe of the relationship between animals and people. In describing her developing bond with Charlie, Stockton asks us, aren't we all just a little bit innately wild?