Posts Tagged ‘Coyote’
Soooo… what’s up with you? Did you have a good weekend? Do anything special for Valentine’s Day?
First, HeyZeus clearly inspired by the Royal Holiday of Love (note the caps) was Hell bent to woo The Ladies and decided that NOW was a good time to strut his proverbial… well… shit.
Damn, that’s a fine looking bird.
You can see the look of adoration on the Barred Rock’s face. Or just straight up confusion… which is about the same expression that they march about with every day. Poor HZ.
Then, my girl’s got a viewing of what will now be known as The Gun Show. Bored to absolute tears after being locked away in the house full of infectious viruses, television had run its course and they were a little more than their fair share of desperate for entertainment. The closest thrill game in town? Dad chopping wood out the back window.
Oh yeah, this little scene was complete with ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaaahs’ every time a piece of wood flew into two pieces. Clearly more wood would get chopped in the world with such an audience participation as this because Brian came into the house and announced that he was sorry that he didn’t have MORE wood to chop.
Finally, there was a true gift of the heart. We took the life of a coyote on The Accidental Farm.
At about 10am, Brian came racing through the living room, yelling “There’s two coyotes in the yard!” and threw the phone at me. (At the time, Brian had been chatting with his friend R.C., who was still on the phone when I received it. Unfortunately I was totally caught off guard and didn’t realize the phone was on and left R.C. sitting on the desk for about 15 minutes, until he hung up.)
I turned and looked out the window into the distant forest to catch a glimpse and saw a dark grey, shadow of a coyote slinking deep within the tree line. My blood ran cold when I saw the second coyote. She was about the size of a German Shepherd and a mere 30 yards from the back door, NOT slinking but boldly tracing a path closer towards the house and the unassuming group of chickens gathered at the back bird feeder.
This picture is taken from INSIDE of my living room. Yes, the same window as pictured above.
As I stood completely shocked watching the National Geographic drama unfolding before me — wild animals stalking my brood, my husband loading a shot gun in the next room — all I could think of was what to do with the two little girls standing riveted by my side. Funny, in all of those child rearing books that cover night waking and temper tantrums, they never really instruct you on how to introduce the topic of Daddy blowing out some animal’s brains in your back yard.
I commanded the girls to the couch, basically because this was the only thing I could think of to do. The completely rational side of me knew that I couldn’t banish them to anywhere away from what was happening, because it would only heighten their awareness of the event and make them feel as if there was something here that was forbidden or wrong. The completely irrational side of me told them to get down, you know, in case there was flying shrapnel or the coyotes decided to shoot back.
Brian quietly crept out the back door. The slight whoosh of the door made the coyote stop, but only for a second. With his shotgun, Brian took aim for maybe 3 seconds at most, then shot. The cat, who was hiding beneath the window, took off in a flash. The coyote went down, a clear shot right into the chest and into the heart. The chickens never flinched and continued to pick at the birdseed on the ground only feet away.
She lay there still for a second, her tail raised and twitched agitatedly back and forth for a second or two and then she died.
The second coyote did not take off, but stopped in her tracks and waited. For the next 5 – 10 minutes, she then traced the back of the property, deeper in the woods, trying to approach and probably assist her companion.
Conversely, Brian paced back and force in the house, with his gun, waiting to see what move the second coyote would make. Ultimately they both went back to their day.
The girls did not see the coyote being shot, but did know what was happening every step of the way and did see the body lying in the yard. My littlest one had no real idea of what was happening and just thought hiding on the couch was fun and the loud noise was questionable. My older daughter was surprisingly calm and logical about the killing. She talked about knowing that it would have tried to kill the birds and even the cat, so protecting the animals that she loves did not upset her in the least. Given the opportunity to view the body up close, she declined.
This was the first animal that we had shot on the property, and the first one that I had ever seen killed. Do I wish that there was another way that we could prevent coyotes from stalking our livestock? Of course I do. However, I am at my most simplest a mom. I am a mom to my birds, to the cat, the dog and every other creature under my watch. Should these coyotes be successful and take a chicken, there is little to keep them from coming back again and again (not to say this is the end of it all.) But, even more distressing to me is what happens when they return and take my cat, or attack my dog. How do I explain something like that to these two little girls? And, is it without reason to suspect that if they can attack my 95 pound dog, after a winter that has been one of the harshest on record for decades, that my 27 pound and 43 pound daughters are not completely safe? Know what? No need to suspect. Let’s just get the job done.
I said a prayer for the coyote and thanked her for the life that she lived and the service that she provided by dying on our land, before my eyes. She was beautiful and bold, hungry and determined, wild and unpredictable. When asked by a friend what I would have done if Brian was not around, in the moment I had not given it a thought, but I thank the coyote for giving me the opportunity to ponder it now. Without a moment’s hesitation, I too would defend all of my babies, no matter the cost.