“Playing Pine Cone”

I am writing about this activity again because I’ve seen it yet again, in almost the exact pattern as before. My friend who tosses pine cones for his dog to fetch calls it “playing pine cone.” He plays this regularly, just he and the dog and the pine cones.  However, if a particular coyote passes close by at the time, the coyote has been responding in what now has become his own predictable way. It is always the same coyote.

The coyote stops and watches — he seems to want to join in the play. Pine cones are tossed, and occasionally a pine cone rolls too far, so the dog just picks up one that is lying closer and brings that one back to its owner. This is the chance the coyote takes to dart in and grab the pine cone that had rolled too far! He runs off with it — not too far — to where I’ve seen him attempt to toss it up or play with it very briefly, but then, instead of continuing his own game, he stands back and watches the dog-owner activity some more until the game he happened upon is over and the dog and owner depart! The coyote then slowly continues to where he had been headed before his attention had been diverted.

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