For many of you, this will be the only thing you need to read to decide that I am a giant nutbag, so file this away: I sent a coyote good thoughts today. (The doggy-style kind of coyote, not the human trafficker kind. I’m not that crazy.)
That’s right. I paused on my back porch this afternoon as I watched a wild animal lope across the small ridge behind my house, and I briefly held it in my mind’s eye and sent it well wishes for its journey, wherever that may lead.
In my estimation, coyotes catch very few breaks from us in this life, and that bums me out. We have contests to kill them. We devalue their place in the eco-system. A lot of people have pretty much just decided they suck, and that’s one hell of a label to have to try and outrun. But I sure hope this one is able to do it. The world needs more underdog victories.
Maybe coyotes remind us too much of ourselves to escape our wrath. If there’s anything humans have proven, it’s that they plan to be the only clever opportunists to thrive on this planet.
So good luck, coyote friend. I wish you well. You’re gonna need it.
If you stripped a dog of its social eagerness,
gave it a loping indifference to human presence
and starved it, you’d have a coyote,
stalking like a shadow among the garbage cans
at the top of Pearl Street, near the Fine Arts Work Center.
We’re heading back to our car through a fine mist,
the streetlights haloing amid the black trees,
and we stop, watching him appear and disappear
gaunt as a Giacometti. He’s nothing
like a dog bounding into the street.
Does he care if this is a street?—or just a hard place
under his paws. Ever since childhood
I’ve tried to be alert to what people are up to,
but why not see the coyote’s point of view?—
how he prefers to ignore them,
following his own track through the darkness.
“The Coyote” by Alan Feldman from Immortality.