From Amity Farm...


So.. about coyotes. When I moved out here I assumed there would be many wild and dangerous creatures around. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I hadn’t seen anything but a rather large White Owl and a few Red-Tailed Hawks. My neighbors Anti and Lena told me the pack of coyotes (pronounced KY-otes) were in their back yard all the time. That isnt’ really surprising since they live on 300 acres of un-fenced flat land just at the base of some of some large, treed hills. Since I hadn’t truthfully heard a live coyote in my life I asked if the dog noises I somtimes hear might have a pack of coyotes. They laughed and said, “Dont worry, you’ll know them when you hear them.”

The very next evening the fire alarm in town went of around 3am (its the kind where a siren goes off at the station, the volunteer firefighters drive into town, then go to the fire). Apparently, the coyotes took the sound of the siren as an invitation to sing-along. There were at least 10 of them and it sounded like they were right outside my open bedroom window. They howled, yipped, barked and growled at each other for about 2 minutes. In that short timeframe here’s what I did:

  • awoke and bolted up in bed so fast I got a little dizzy
  • thought, “where are my cats? did I lock the chicken’s door? do coyotes eat goats?”
  • realized the side gate was WIDE open from mowing the lawn that day
  • criticised myself for not having bought a shotgun yet
  • pondered how well that one yelping sound can freak the crap out of a person
  • committed to improving my animal security (and buying that shotgun)

I sat there half-asleep in bed for 5 minutes or so before I heard the kitten under my window make a kind of growling noise. It was their first night out after having been locked in the basement for a week (post-spaying) and I was sleepy and had decided they were being eaten by the noisy predators. So I jumped out of bed like it was covered in thorns and ventured outside with the conviction of a woman who just spent $150 on vet bills.

If there were any coyotes out there, I’m sure they were struck dumb by the sight of this woman in her tank top (no undies) wandering around in the middle of the night with a flickering flashlight in one hand and baseball bat in the other muttering, “I hope I don’t get eaten by wild dogs, I hope I don’t get eaten by wild dogs…” The gate closed with much difficulty, and the kittens scurried back to the basement with some encouragement. Needless to say, I didn’t get much more sleep that evening.

I haven’t heard them since, but I find it a little un-nerving knowing they are out there. At the same time, it is humbling knowing there is a creature so closely among us who, when given the chance, could take me down without even breaking a sweat. So the cats begrudgingly sleep inside now and the goats and chickens are penned up nightly. Art Farm – 1; Pack of Wild Dogs – 0

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