There is a coyote stalking small prey in the backyard. The animal’s fur is a combination of grey, white, brown and black, perfect camouflage to blend into the shadows. Except it isn’t trying very hard to remain undetected, perhaps from hunger or disease, it lets us see him watch us through the window.
Little Legs thinks it’s a dog and barks at it and bangs on the glass with a toy car.
“Daw… daw…daw…” he chants.
He would like to have a pet, but this is not the right one, with its possible case of rabies, baby-biting tendencies, and definite infestation of fleas. By the looks of the mangy mutt, the coyote wouldn’t mind carrying off my sweet boy to snack on like a meaty Now and Later. Something about the way that it stares at us is off with the same level of derangement as an escaped convict, and then I see it lick its lips, or at least I think that I do. Staying home day after day may be impacting my cognition, or plain and simple, the coyote wants to eat us.
“Well, we aren’t going out there today,” I declare knowing that we will still go outside after lunch.
Mentally, I go through several scenarios of Little Legs luring the coyote close enough to touch when my back is turned and me chasing it off with a stick or going into hand-to-paw combat with it or running after it with Little Legs on its back like a circus performer riding a lion. I set my resolve to get a weapon to protect us during the day, wanting a bb gun for the first time in my life.
“A bb gun?”
My husband is incredulous when I tell him what is needed on his next trip to town and the reason why. I show him the picture that I took as proof of the problem and to support my request. A part of me expects him to ask me to fill out a requisition form and send it to the finance department for processing…so Amazon, it is.
“You don’t need a bb gun, you need a shot gun and we can load it with buck shot; you don’t have to be accurate that way.”
I don’t take offense at this because he is obviously unaware of my sharp shooting days from a past life and that this is not something that I just want. It is something that I need at a time when it feels like we are under attack from all angles with the corona virus wreaking havoc on multiple fronts of our world, living under quarantine and now a coyote in our backyard.
What I want and need is a sense of safety for my little boy and the one on the way. I need to feel secure taking them out to swing or to play in the dirt or to gather dandelions and not worry that a coyote is watching us and waiting for his dinner opportunity. With wild things all around us that threaten harm, I want to feel some control in protecting the ones I love, but it doesn’t seem like any amount of waiting, money or weaponry can provide the kind of security that I need.
Aside from hand sanitizer. And a bb gun.