Monday, August 29, 2011

The New Neighbors

   I'm no rootin' tootin' cowgirl (don't own a gun), but I sure can scream like a banshee.I guess it's a good thing. If you are in the neighborhood and hear blood curdling screams emanating from our home, there's a good reason. And Scout's honor, it has absolutely nothing to do with The Husband. Let me explain. Heretofore, we have led a relatively pleasant life in suburbia -- our home sits on slightly over an acre of land in an older subdivision that was once part of a larger farm. I fell in love with this house twenty-five years ago primarily because of the mature trees that beautifully frame the front of the house. The broad, flat, expansive backyard was a paradise just waiting for our children. It was perfectly designed for just about any type of game you could think of, from football to baseball to softball to relay races to golf, and most days I just sent the kids outside to play and never thought twice about it. Those were the days. Sigh.
  Time has marched on. Our children are now bona fide adults, and even the neighbors' kids are mostly grown and going their own way. So it's none too exciting around here. In fact it is so quiet that a few new neighbors have taken up residence nearby. They are large dog-like creatures that howl and yip and yell at night to their hearts' content. Coyotes. Yep. But no worries. I can be at peace with nature, and I can handle a coyote or two. I have seen them in the neighborhood before. Once there was one walking down the middle of the street about dusk. But five coyotes? And all at once? That's a pack and that's another matter altogether. It's just a few too many coyotes. It's scary. Besides, we have a small fenced-in enclosure in the back yard where our Cavalier spaniel runs around to his heart's content. But after this weekend, not so much. Five coyotes came out in broad daylight and sauntered around in our backyard just like they owned it. They stared at my son and me as we sat on the porch. I waved my arms. They stared back. I stood up and waved some more. They ignored me and went about their own business. Even when the son and I stood up and started making noise. It was eerie. I was scared. The coyotes obviously were not fazed one little bit. I went to bed wondering if coyotes can jump a three foot fence.
   The next day the husband was riding on his John Deere riding lawn mower that he likes to pretend is a tractor when the pack of coyotes decided to pay him a visit. They moved into the yard about 10 yards from where he was methodically going back and forth, back and forth. (That's what you do when you cut a big lawn.)  The Husband saw the coyotes and hollered. They moved back out of sight into the tree line. He thought he had set them straight. Then they came back. All five of them. At that point The Husband decided it was time to get out of Dodge. He moved away from their territory. I guess he decided to forego mowing the back of the lot until next week or the week after that.  He obviously made about as serious an impression on the coyotes as the son and I had. And to think, The Husband had the benefit of that shiny green and black tractor. I guess the coyotes have never heard of John Deere.
   I called the police. I know. I know. But I did call the non-emergency number. Later that day they sent a patrol officer out to talk to The Husband and me. Then just like overgrown boys, the officer and my husband decided to go on a coyote-hunting expedition. The officer went first with The Husband following behind. But before the officer went into the tree line, he put on his gloves and took out his gun. I guess they were both worried about a possible encounter with five full-grown coyotes. The coyotes must have been taking a nap somewhere else because they were no where to be found.
    The policeman left me the number of the Wildlife Commission. I called and talked to a really nice guy named Tony. Tony is the one who recommended that I scream like a banshee. He also told me to wave my arms, grab a pot and pan and a metal spoon and bang the *&^% out of it at the same time that I was advancing and screaming. I have the screaming part down. I can also beat those pots and pans like nobody's business, but I don't know about the advancing part. I might be The Mom and have more than a few years under my belt, but I am also a CHICKEN. And the last time I checked, coyotes like to eat CHICKENS. So I will scream, I will wave, I will beat the pot with the spoon, but I will stay behind the fence, and I will, under no circumstances, advance into the coyotes' territory. In fact, I just gave the coyotes the deed to the upper back yard. They can have it. Did I mention that they can also jump a three foot fence? I am still thinking about that one. I somehow don't think the neighborhood association will go for barb-wire rolls on top of my fence...
Coyote Pack (Part 1 of 5)
Menacing look from the coyote on the left
  photo courtesy of

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