Time to Panic: Coyote Encounter

Can you find the coyote?

Last night, sitting in bed after an evening at the Bluefish game, I saw a news story about kids getting attacked in Rye, NY by coyotes. (For those of you who haven’t spent day after day riding Metro North, I should point out that Rye is pretty close to Greenwich.) So, you can imagine the thoughts that raced through my head when, today, I was doing my volunteer duties as a dog-walker and I ran into a scraggly little coyote.

According to one of those weird AOLPatch sites:

The first incident involved a six-year-old girl who was playing outside with friends Friday night when the animals “singled her out for the attack” and tackled her, according to police.

The second occurred when a coyote attacked a 3-year-old girl, biting her neck while she was playing in her back yard.

Now, seeing as I was walking Russell the Man-Eating Dog (one of my personal favorite pound pups) I wasn’t particularly worried about the coyote, which, from far away, I thought was a cat. But apparently, there isn’t enough to eat in Rye, or rabies is making a comeback, because kids keep getting attacked. I’m not much of an alarmist. Generally, I assume when something like this happens it’s because the kid smelled like pork chops or tried to steal a pup or something. But I was still surprised to see the little guy hanging out down the road, waiting to see what Russell and I would do.

Russell, for his part, had been trying to get me to turn around for the past 3 minutes anyway – he often does this when he’s sick of walking – so I just turned around, let the coyote go about its business, and headed back to the pound. I told the folks there of my encounter and they said a walker from the previous day had reported seeing several of them around what I refer to as “the carcass hole” – a place where the guys from the dump put the road kill.

Now, as calm as I may have been when 50 or so yards from this little coyote with Russell the badass junkyard scrapper at my side (really, I love this dog…he’s great) I am slightly less zen in the middle of the night when trying to get to my front door. Over the years I have encountered possums, raccoons, and skunks on the way from my car to my various doors, all of which provoked varying degrees of hysteria and irregular heartbeats. These, though, were all while living in densely populated suburbs and cities. Now I live in the wilderness and I fully expect to find a mountain lion sitting on my front steps one night.

So, consider yourself warned coyotes: if you mess with me at night when I am, no doubt, drunk and just trying to get to my bed, I will unleash the same hellfire on you that I do on my cat when she gets on the counter…which is to say, I will throw a shoe at you.

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