Last Wednesday night I had settled into my permanent carved out space on the couch, lounging and absorbed in some sort of mindless smut about celebrity lettuce consumption, when my concentration was broken by the frantic howling of the dogs. I glanced up briefly and surmised that they had found an irregular shaped rock in the yard, or a neighbor was being so audacious as to start their car engine at 8 PM, both things that they find outrageous. I turned back to the TV just in time to catch the riveting teaser for the next Sober House episode, only to be interrupted again by Mathew returning from the backyard.

“There is something in the woods behind the house. It isn’t as clumsy as a dog. It’s tip-toeing around like it is hunting. “

“Mmmmhmmmm,” I responded, half my attention still on the tear-stained soliloquy being given by Andy Dick. “Squirrels hunt, right? I mean, those nuts don’t just fall out of thin air. And bunnies…foliage doesn’t just sit there waiting to be eaten…It’s a hard knock life for all of the cuteness out there in the Hundred Acre Wood.”

I didn’t give any further thought to the matter until he came back in from the yard later in the evening with the Mag Lite and reported that there was a coyote standing under the streetlight in front of the house and it appeared to have a friend lurking in the shadows.

“I’m sorry, there’s a what, where??”

I am a huge fan of wildlife in all its forms, as long as those forms are small, adorable and cuddly. Coyotes do not fit any of those criteria, and therefore do not live in my conscious thought, much less my neighborhood. My husband, however, is apparently more in tune with this parallel reality and recounted many stories of how coyotes will lure the female dog into mating, and then the pack will jump and kill her while in the act. If that is the case for a female dog, what is the protocol for a female human?? Should I take off my perfume and wear dark colors, or is that just for mosquitoes? Can we move back to Highland where you only have to deal with cockroaches the size of coyotes?

Anyhow, Mathew called the police the next morning and was informed that yes, there is an animal control in the area, but it is one man who travels to several different cities and in their words “he’s not really that good at it, to tell you the truth.” Apparently we can shoot the coyotes, but would then have to wait on animal control to come and pick them up to test for rabies, etc. and record the statistics in the city record. I wonder if there is a statistic for how long, on average, the rabies ridden wildlife carcass sits in your backyard before the one lone not so competent animal control employee travels across six counties to pick up the remains. I’m guessing three weeks, at best.

So, the plan now is to hang raw meat from the trees, wait, and hopefully commence with a good old-fashioned duel. Guns vs. Fangs. I love the South.

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