Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

July 27, 2012

Coyotes on the Hill

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

In 1960, following Thanksgiving holidays, I was driving from Atlanta back to my church field in Texas.  I had driven straight through.  In was about 2 a.m. in the morning and I began to feel sleepy.  I was on the last few miles of my journey and on a county road in the heart of Texas.

I felt it wise to take a break, but there was nothing in sight.  Since it was such an isolated road, I just stopped the car in the middle of the road.  On that cold November night, I exited the car and began to jog around the car for exercise.  I can still feel the coldness and how quickly it revived my sleepy composure.

As I jogged around the car, I looked up to a small hill.  I was responding to the howling and bark of a coyote across the quiet sky.  I stopped to gaze at the silhouette of not one, but several coyotes.  Coyotes were not uncommon in that area, but I was still cautious and got back in my car.

For those who are not experienced in hearing the howl of coyotes, you probably don’t realize the eerie feeling you get — especially when you are all alone in such a desolate area.  Of course, I had no real fear because of the distance from the car, and then I had the protection of being in the car.

I don’t think they were barking at me.  That is just part of their nature, especially at night.  But I will confess, I don’t care for them, up close  and personal.

Coyotes are known in some regions as jackals or prairie dogs.  They sometimes travel in groups, usually called a pack.  But they will always travel in pairs.  They are nocturnal, but you can see them in the daylight on occasion.

Mark Twain, one of my favorite writers, wrote of seeing a coyote. In his book, Roughing It, published in 1872, he described his adventure through the wild west during the years 1861-1867.  He encountered his first coyote.   ” . . . a living, slim, sorry-looking skeleton . . . .”  He said the coyote is “a living, breathing allegory of Want.  He is always hungry!”

Twain had other comments about the coyote.  He described the coyote with words like these:  bushy tail that sags down with an expression of misery; an evil eye with a sharp face and exposed teeth; friendless; all the mean creatures despise him;  fleas would even desert him.

Coyotes are not just part of Texas or the western landscape.  They are rather prevalent in Florida.  There have been some recent attacks on small animals and chickens.  So now we have added to our menagerie, the coyote!  And we will be on guard here.  We will anticipate the nature of a coyote.

But most of us are familiar with the friendly and lovable coyote as seen in the Road Runner cartoons.  Remember?  Wilie E is the name of the creature.  The battle that ensued with the Road Runner was the heart of the cartoon.  We laughed and even cheered at times for Wilie E.  He seemed to be such a harmless creature.  Maybe there is a lesson here for us.

I am not making accusations against the coyote or trying to demean the creature, but they are to be avoided.  They can be vicious, especially if there is a pack of them.  In contrast we have the lovable coyote, Wilie E.

It is easy for us to paint, re-dress, or costume that which is dangerous and evil.  How often we attempt to justify that some things are not the danger that others have given warning about.

Twain got an up close and personal look!  But it is a good description, although it would be said in more refined words by those who protect and study them!  They are not to be pets!  There are many things that are harmful or dangerous to us, but the advertisement paints a different picture.  Think of some commercials–they take something that is potentially harmful to us and give it a “cartoon” appearance!

Without my giving application, think for yourself of some of those examples.  Don’t be fooled by the disguise of marketing . . . or of the defense of some friend about the “coyote” they love!

“”Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you.”  (Proverbs 2:11)   “Be on guard!  Be alert!”  (Mark 13:33)



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