No regrets, Coyote
We just come from such different sets of circumstance
— the prophet joni mitchell
We’re out on the SCC mile loop. It’s almost dusk, the time of day when the clouds take on a starring role in the sky.
You have to watch them constantly, Mo says. So much to see.
They’re fluffy tonight, an endless curtain of white stretching across the sky with a strip of blue underneath. The mountains are dwarfed by a barrage of cotton balls. The mile loop is always a spectacle because there are no obstacles. Just a landscape that goes on forever. We’re looking up, until Mo looks down.
Coyote, she says.
We’re out on the stretch where there’s not a bailout. An 8-foot fence to the right, a cotton field to the left. A coyote up ahead. I instinctively move so that Mo is between the beast and me. She is younger and more attuned to the ways of fierce animals, having watched too many Wild Kingdom re-runs in her early years. Plus, she left me behind once in a night 10K when she thought a swarm of bees was chasing after us. Payback.
It looks at us. We look at it. You have to worry about rabies, she says. Like I’m not going to worry about being bitten by a coyote otherwise. I try to get a photo, since if I’m going to be mauled I at least want it to go viral, but I’m left-handed. But then, it makes a leisurely turn down the dirt road and into the field. We continue on our way. It stops every few yards to look back at us. We do the same. It’s probably writing a blog post about the encounter now. I hope it took a photo.
The best part of living on the outskirts of town is that feeling of emptiness, the lure of a journey into wide-open spaces. Even if sometimes they’re a little TOO wide open.
Is a coyote scare worth it if it comes wrapped in a sea of clouds? Totally.