Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Coyote bait

Cassie the Corgi is not quite as large as a grown jackrabbit in a good foraging year. In the eyes of some, she is small, tender, fuzzy, and juicy-looking.

This evening we had a close encounter with a pair of those eyes. We were ambling up the backside of our block, taking in the balmy evening air, when who should come flying across the perpendicular street but a fine, muscular young coyote!

What (from any point of view other than a rabbit’s) an amazing and fantastic animal! It moved like a shadow, soundless and illusory. To come up to that pace, a German shepherd would have to launch into a gallop, but this wild dog’s gait was a smooth, even trot.

Coyotes inhabit our neighborhood. Unknown to most urbanites, they dwell in most districts of the city, and these days they’ve moved into most parts of the United States. A couple of years ago, neighbors were up in arms because we had a denning pair with a litter of pups, making them marginally dangerous. Coyotes who are in the business of raising young do not like to be interfered with by, say, your dog, and so they will ghost over a six-foot fence (easily!) and come after even a large dog.

As for the likes of Cassie the Corgi: dinnertime! Given enough hungry cubs to feed, a coyote will try to grab Fifi right off the end of your leash. Some reports have claimed coyotes have actually tried to snatch little dogs out of the arms of their doting owners. They also, on occasion, will go after small children, but those occasions are extremely rare.

The coyote was so focused on whatever it was chasing (cat?) or whatever it was running from (human?) that I don’t think it noticed us. Nevertheless, I picked up the Corgi and carried her the half-block back to our house. Tomorrow: remember to bring the pit-bull shilelagh! Gotta quit leaving that thing at home.

Photo: Coyote by Arizona Roadside, Marya

Author: funny

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  1. There was a gray fox running up and down our residential street near Central and Missouri two weeks ago. A very strange sight indeed. I couldn’t believe my eyes but found that two other neighbors saw it too.

  2. Yeah, there are a fair number of fox around north Phoenix. My father used to live at the old-folkerie at 16th Street and Morten, where they saw foxes all the time.

    Surprisingly, another urbanized wild critter in the Phoenix area is the badger. I didn’t even know they lived in the low desert. Lo, they most certainly do! Some friends in Moon Valley had one raid their koi pond: it left characteristic badger footprints in the soil around the pond while it was dining on fish. Turns out there’s quite a few living in the city.

    These wild predators and scavengers will go after some fellow travelers that we’d like to be rid of, in particular the roof rat. Interestingly, I haven’t seen any roof rats around since our doggy friends moved in. But they also will take care of stray cats, so you should keep your tabby indoors. And keep those succulent poodles and wiener (yum!) dogs on the leash. 😉

    BTW, whatever you do, don’t feed coyotes, foxes, and other wild critters! This causes them to lose their fear of humans, and that’s not safe for them or for us. And don’t leave cat food or dog food out on the back porch: it’s free coyote food. A coyote can jump a 13-foot wall, so our six-footers are as nothing.

  3. What a wonderful photo! I think coyotes are so beautiful. One Christmas day, I was standing on the balcony of my fathers house in an upscale gated community in SoCal when I spotted a coyote trotting down the street with a very fluffy clearly purbred Persian cat in its mouth, aka dinner. I felt bad for the (dead) cat, but liked seeing the wildness right on the street. We have coyotes up here in VT as well, but they grow fat on abundent squirrels and bunnies and don’t go after pets so much.

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  5. I have seen coyotes in the ‘wild’ area along the interstate just two blocks from our house. I actually had to call the critter people in for racoons denning in my fireplace chimney last year. And Miss Molly has had a close and angry confrontation with an opossum in my compost bin! (Which scared the bejesus out of me because she very seldom even barks, let alone go into full on agression mode!)

    A good stout walking stick is a necessity – defense against canine agressors and the two legged dogs, too.

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