Thursday, February 1, 2007

Extinct yet? No, but we're trying...

You've built your ugly McMansions on their land, trapped and poisoned most of them and forced their natural food onto the suburban roads where you can hit them with your 75 mph-going SUVs. You don't see them because you're on the phone or watching the DVD, and you can't hear them because you're cranking Justin or Britney or Fiddy Cent.
You feed your prized ChihPooBrador or Cockerel Spaniard out in the backyard because you don't want all that expensive but smelly NutriNaturPup© food in your newly-remodeled MarthaStewart© mudroom, but you don't have the common sense that other animals might want that food as well. And you refuse to admit that your $350 pet-of-the-month is part of the food chain. That's right: Fuzzy-Sweetums is a meal.
So, you have the cops chase your scary Public Enemy Number One. No, not the meth head across the street or the embezzling town clerk or the car thief or the vandal. No, this is a real terrorist: a coyote.

"A Framingham assistant animal control officer shot and killed four coyotes on Sunday, and police believe one of them is responsible for killing a family dog on Saturday."

Because those varmints are "a public safety risk," and all the TeeVee news mannequins can show scary pictures of those mangy varmints and show scary file footage and repeatedly show the bereaved, swearing that those things are threatening to your safety and junk. And yes, sure, it's coyote season (because we do so prize their pelts, don't we?) Yes, you're a spoiled child. Fear the real world, because Nature shouldn't include things like toothy beasts or global climate change. Stay home where it's safe, watching Fox News and Deal or No Deal. Where it's safe.
But maybe you want to show that you're a real man, a real tough guy. Have some fun with your shotgun. Since everything is put here by God only to entertain you, you can shoot at that seal thing, whatever. Yep, just blast it away. Hell, them Eskimos go out and club them puppies, don't they? Plus, it was prolly sick anyways.

Where I was growing up, there was a seal who frequented a rock in the bay near my house. The townsfolk thought little of that seal but no one would have shot it. Besides, the feds had just passed the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the damned thing was cute. Whether the seal changed a migratory pattern, or found better fishing someplace else, one day it wasn't on the rock, and the buzz around town was, "Where'd he go?"

Every night a few years ago, we could hear that extraordinary yodeling that only communicative canids like coyotes can make. Never mind the entertaining Native American coyote stories. This sound, romantic and plaintive, somehow joyful and free. We could tell where those coyotes were, running from one vineyard through the hayfield and out the other vineyard to the saltmarsh, and the neighbor's bassets and beagles would howl and yip right along, a language they delighted to share.
Last Summer, I heard only one brief isolated lonely yodel.
Yeah, I know.
"You don't know what you got til it's etc..."
Let's try not to waste any more.


Anonymous said...

※※※hmsimpossible a big big news for you!...

ThirdMate said...

Things kinda slow in Hubei province tonight?

Dr. Momentum said...

Coyotes are cool.

Karie said...

Thank you for this post.
I really, really miss hearing the coyotes at night :( They somehow made me feel the world was balanced. Now. Not so much.