Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ferdinand the Coyote

It's hard not to hear the goings on next door, especially given that my kitchen window looks out on my neighbor's yard. At night I can hear swishing in the bushes as the night creatures make their way to Thea's bowls. In the morning I hear more swishing and tap tap tapping and see the skunks and cats and crows and coyote that come to eat breakfast and dinner. 

To be fair, the coyote hasn't been around much this summer... until last weekend. This comes as a relief but not a surprise as Mary Paglieri, a "human-animal conflict consultant" with the Little Blue Society, told me this would happen. She explained in scientific detail how he would eventually wean himself of human interaction (I'm assuming coyote is a he but he could be a she): "Given time, this matter will resolve on its own, the coyote will decide [when]." 

When coyote does come around, it's like a homecoming. Thea comes right into the lower yard where the coyote's lying in the grass not more than five feet away. She talks to him and coyote listens, waiting for her to put food into the bowl. Then she gives him her blessing and climbs back up the steps to go inside. Thea is unafraid because the coyote is her friend. He likes skunks. He likes to smell the breezes. He likes the tall grasses in Thea's backyard. He must get sick of coyote life—enough of the urine smells and hard rocks for beds and howling at night. 

Coyote is Ferdinand the bull.

"He liked to sit just quietly and smell the flowers. He had a favorite spot out in the pasture under a cork tree. It was his favorite tree and he would sit in its shade all day and smell the flowers."—Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson

Seeing is believing. Here is Coyote as Ferdinand: 

Previous posts on Coyote:


  1. Charlotte, that video is just astonishing. It's like Rousseau's Peaceable Kingdom. But was that a tussle between a porcupine & a skunk? It's a little blurry. Or were they just checking each other out? In any event, it really is incredible. What a little animal laboratory you have in your backyard, much more diverse and exciting than the pigeons outside my window. And yes, Ferdinand is just right for that peaceable fellow. Wow!

  2. Hey Outwalkingthedog, yes those were two skunks tussling, one more aggressive and hops like a bunny; sorry for the fuzz, i'm shooting with a digital close-up. (but soon, maybe a better camera!). Thank you for your comment!