More Wallowing On A Mole

Two coyotes walked together along a trail — they appeared to be out on a hunting expedition. One of them veered off the path to pick up a dead mole which had been lying on the grass. As with the rat (see posting of June 16 Dead Rat Toy?), the coyote seemed to know that the dead mole was there — it had either been left there or put there. The coyote carried the mole about three feet and then dropped it. The coyote then trotted back to rejoin the other coyote which had not stopped walking. Again, as before with the rat, the dead animal was not rolled on — at this time. Maybe these dead animals had not been dead long enough to build up a real stink from decomposition — maybe they were not “ripe” enough? Or maybe these were “toys” and the time was not appropriate to play with them? Or maybe there were other things on the coyote’s agenda for the day? It impressed me when I saw the coyote pick up the rat a few days ago and then this mole, that they both might be some kind of toy.

The very next day these same coyotes approached the same mole, which was still in the same place, and they DID wallow on it. Maybe, after at least a full day of decomposing time, the dead animal smelled strong and ready to be used as “perfume”. The first coyote lowered the front part of its neck, snake-like, onto the mole before gleefully rolling on it. The other coyote came over, not only to watch, but because, it too, apparently wanted a turn. It grabbed the mole from right under the first coyote when it had a chance, walked a few paces, and then lowered its shoulders down onto it. The first coyote apparently was through because it trotted off unperturbed. When this second coyote had “finished”, it picked up the mole just for a moment, but then dropped it, abandoning it to join the other coyote. THEN, about fifteen minutes later, a THIRD coyote walked by. This coyote, too, without sniffing around first, just walked right over to the correct spot and picked up the mole, and then carried it about 300 feet this time, to a more “protected” area. Here, the mole was dropped and wallowed on and then carried a little further — maybe to a place where it would be easier remembered for the next time?  On this day, whenever there was wallowing, another coyote was there to watch, and did so very interestedly.

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