Weekends are usually the same as every other day for me, except that I am not on FD’s work schedule, meaning I do not get up quite as early to prepare breakfast and open up the storage building where our vehicles are stored, and unlock the front gate before he heads to work. This morning I slept in until 7:45, while FD had gotten up earlier than usual and quietly set off to meet a friend before sunup for the opening of the primitive firearms season. I could not believe how soundly I had slept that last hour and a half after FD kissed me goodbye around 6:00 a.m. Upon waking, I felt refreshed and contented. Why do humans have to have these crazy structured lives, I wondered? To me, it makes a lot more sense to just go with the flow of body rhythm. Why do we have to have such strictly enforced work and social schedules that clearly do not work for most of us? Oh well, I thought, I do have critters to take care of, so I might as well get with it.
My first task of the day is always to let Bear and Mr. T out to the front yard to do their morning bathroom business. When I do this, I never leave them outdoors alone. What with coyotes and foxes running around and raptors flying high above, my role has always been that of a shepherd, so to speak, keeping watch and protecting my little herd. While I stood guard over Bear and Mr. T, I briefly thought of Zoe. She was the smallest of our Japanese Chin and, as much as she loved the outdoors, it was always a worry for me to keep an eye on her at all times. I still missed her terribly. Going about my morning tasks and chores had been lonely without her presence and companionship this summer. Back in the house, I started my first cup of coffee and looked at my iPad to check messages and email. As soon as the coffee finished brewing, I grabbed my cup and headed towards the sink. I scanned the counter thinking I needed to clean up a few dishes and as I prepared to plug the sink I looked out the kitchen window and there was a coyote!! Not the big coyote I had photographed last week, but certainly an adult, and it was headed straight for the deer pen!
Thankfully, I still had my shoes on from taking the dogs out. With no time to grab a jacket (it was 46F outside), cell phone, or weapon, I raced out the front door with the only thing I had handy – a white kitchen tea towel! I bolted through the door and began to ROAR!! My voice became that of the biggest, scariest beast I could muster! I waved the white towel above my head, roaring deeply like a wild lion! I chased the coyote to the front gate which FD had closed behind him in the dark hours before sunrise. For a time, the coyote looked back at me in a panic, having nowhere to run to. I could tell it was in unfamiliar territory, maybe never having been this close to town, or along a street with houses. I finally slowed as I approached my mom-in-law’s garden. For a brief moment, I thought not to push too closely. What if it became frightened and turned on me in defense? Intuitively, I pressed forward slowly along the fence, giving the coyote the option to escape to the south, in my mom-in-law’s front yard. The pasture and alley were beyond that. It was my hope to flush it that direction in order to keep it from spooking the deer. Instinct led me to wave my towel and roar at precisely the right moments, and sure enough, the coyote exited at top speed to the south, crashing into a fence or two to escape this roaring, and obviously psychotic, human being. Finally, I saw it duck into the woods as it headed west along the alley. I ran to the slope to watch the canyon below and see if it took the pathway along the feeders and watering tub down below, but I saw no sign of it. I imagine it took a more westerly route back to the pecan orchard and river beyond.
After assuring myself the coyote had returned to the river bottom, I slowly walked back to the deer pen. Other than looking a little anxious, Emma and Ronnie seemed just fine. Fortunately, I never heard them hit the fence while I roared and ran after the coyote. They were not panting and there seemed to be no injuries. It was just Wednesday of this last week that our new mesh fencing had arrived, and FD took the afternoon off of work so that we could make the deer pen safer by installing the mesh fencing all around the inside of the welded-wire fencing. This would not only provide a more visual barrier, but it would also provide a protective blanket of sorts, to hopefully keep the deer from harming themselves if they hit the fence. I was also thankful I had not been up earlier to do chicken chores and let them out for the day. Even though a coyote might possibly be able to dig under the fence to get at the deer, it would have been really easy pickings to nab a chicken from the dilapidated old chicken yard.
Calmly, I spoke to Emma and Ronnie as I filled their water tub and leisurely went about doing a few other chores like letting the chickens out. But all the while my heart was racing from the adrenaline rush of what had just taken place. I felt a sense of victory in managing to scare off the coyote. But I also felt a bit helpless, because I knew this would not be the end of the battle. I could not be present to ward off the coyotes all hours of the day and night. And I could not put myself through continual worry. I had done this before in my life – many times. Here was the opportunity again to trust Universe/God, to stand by our resolve to do our best, and to know that it is enough.
© 2016 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…