COYOTE MAN, A Creative Piece by Charlotte Hildebrand

Sitting at my table, with the windows wide, I hear my neighbor talking to the coyote, who has suddenly appeared in her backyard. “Come here, come here, my beautiful boy!” she murmurs. But I don’t believe her; it’s not a boy and she knows it. The coyote started coming around a few years ago, after her husband died, looking for handouts. I never thought about it before, but of course! It makes perfect sense. The coyote isn’t a boy, it’s her husband.

2013-07-17 (2)My neighbor used to feed the wild animals at the edge of the forest during the war. As a young girl, she left bread crumbs behind, when the family was forced to flee as refugees. Here, on the edge of the city, she feeds the coyote, skunks, possums, stray cats, raccoons. She feeds three fat crows perched on top of her garage, carrying on like the Marx Brothers. They hop around, cawing ceaselessly, then down to the ground next to the bowl of cat food and chase the cats away. These crows are as big as dogs; the cats don’t stand a chance.

At first i thought my neighbor must be feeding all the animals cat food, but the more I observe her, the more I think it’s real meat. Tonight, for instance, i could sware she fed the coyote a steak, specifically a rib-eye. Her husband used to love those steaks.

2013-07-17 (3)After dinner, my neighbor comes out with a mat and places it on the grass. Come here, come here, she begs her husband and pats the mat. I think she’s going to lie down, but she steps away. I turn my back and when i look again the coyote’s lying on the mat licking its paws, giving my neighbor moon eyes, following her with his gaze around the yard. They’re bonded to each other in a very deep way, these two. This man and wife.
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2013-07-17At 7pm, the lights go out, another brownout up here on the city’s edge. An hour goes by, it grows dark, I can’t see a thing. Then as my eyes adjust, I see some shadowy figures take shape next door. The skunk that comes around this time of night, and the coyote a little off to the side, dancing around each other. Coyote sits still and watches the skunk freak out, with its tail straight up in the air. Skunk keeps one eye on the coyote and one on the food bowl. I’ve seen this dance before, the coyote letting the skunk come and go, not at all interested.

2013-07-17 (1)Perhaps the coyote has already forgotten his wild ways, although, if it’s true he’s my neighbor’s husband, he’ll rip your throat out faster than a surprised skunk can spray, faster than crows can caw, faster than a coyote can turn into a man and back again. I wouldn’t call that exactly tame. You can never be sure with wild animals.

[Charlotte Hildebrand is an artist and writer. This original piece can be found on her blog, The Rat’s Nest, along with more of her creative writing]

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Out Walking the Dog
    Jul 19, 2013 @ 12:43:05

    This is a marvelous piece, magical and, perhaps, true…

    Reply

  2. Kellye
    Jul 19, 2013 @ 12:56:05

    Love the story! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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