These fellas are thoroughly enjoying a play session, even though it was only for a very short spurt of time. They’ve found a piece of trash — a plastic bag — perfect for a game of tug of war. Play is always initiated with a playful jump, the “rump up” posture, running past the other enticingly, or, in this case, simply picking up the trash bag and eyeing the other daringly. The game was on! The fun lasted for less than a minute, but it was intense and lots of fun. Then it was over and they moved on. These fellas are “buddies”: playing affirms the strong bond between them.
The invitation to play is not always responded to. That can be sad to watch: you can actually see the initiating animal “deflate”. The anticipation and excitement of a possible game create an energy and stance that are very palpable, and this just seems to drain away — like with a punctured balloon — if the coyote is ignored by the companion coyote.