I’ve been looking forward to the first really good rain to kick off the winter. Last night was a good one and the remaining light mist felt good on my face when I got up in the dark to go to work this morning. It was just too tempting and I decided to take a short walk around the block first and enjoy it.
It was garbage day and I could see the blue garbage bins lined up all the way down to the corner. Suddenly I saw something moving on top of one of the containers. I slowed down, trying not to make any noise as I walked on the wet pavement. As I got closer, I finally made it out. A coyote!
The wild and wily canine, about the size of a small German shepherd, was so focused on trying to paw open the bin’s lid that it didn’t notice the curious human who was standing about 30 feet away. Trying to paw open a plastic garbage bin while you’re skittering around on your claws and trying to keep your balance on top of the lid is akin to trying to saw off a limb while you’re sitting on it. It’s an almost unworkable situation but if it does work you’re going to fall off and hurt yourself. But that’s the human thinking. All the coyote was thinking about was that wonderful smell from last night’s dinner.
The coyote suddenly stopped and turned and looked straight at me. As our eyes met I smiled and just that tiny movement was all it took to send the animal leaping from the bin to disappear into the dark shadows behind it. I hadn’t moved or made any sounds since I had arrived, at least not any sounds that I could perceive. But I don’t have a coyote nose or coyote ears. Sometimes I wonder if these marvelous beasts have their own form of ESP. Or maybe I had just been betrayed by an errant breeze.
I opened the bin and looked inside. Steak bones! No wonder. I scooped them up, left them in a big juicy pile on the sidewalk, and headed back to my house and car so I could go to work.
That was a lot more fun than walking a dog.