Friday, October 4, 2013

Coyote Hunger

I grew up in an area of BC where wild animals were the norm. To see a bear or cougar or skunk or deer get the idea, in the middle of downtown while heading to the corner store for grape bubble gum or Nerds (grape, too) was so normal we never thought twice about it.

But we move to suburbia where the new normal is a person walking her cat on a leash.

So you can imagine my surprise when the other night I'm sitting on the patio minding my own business and not 20 feet away I see a coyote staring at me, those black eyes and pointed nose, not to mention lack of meat on its body, looking hungrier than Uncle Jim at the Chinese buffet.

And what did I do? In my 38 years on the planet, growing up in mountain regions where you're taught never to run from a wild animal...that's exactly what I did. Run! I don't think I've ever done anything as fast as I bolted that night.

The child, playing idly with her Play-Doh turns around and says, "What's the matter, Mommy?"
I'm dumb-founded. What do I tell her? I know I shouldn't scare her and tell her there's a carnivorous beast outside ready to take a chunk out of my calf. But it's not a dog. And if she ever comes up against one, do I want her to think that coyotes are safe?

I opt for..."Oh nothing dear. There's just a coyote outside."

"What's a coyote?"

And I precede to explain how they look like medium sized dogs but they aren't very nice. Yeah. Big mistake. Now she thinks the coyote is going to sneak into the house and use her as a midnight snack.

In retrospect...the stupid thing was probably more afraid of me than I was of it, and I was pretty scared. I probably could have remained on the patio and it would have walked by minding its own business, searching for a skunk or a squirrel to chew on.

But in the end, wild animals are nothing to take lightly. They are unpredictable. And if they want something bad enough, they will find a way to get it.

And that's my story for today.

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