Wednesday, April 20, 2016


After over one thousand vignettes, anecdotes, prose impressions, flashes, short stories, micros, and other,- the day is often still fresh when the step is taken from the vehicle down to the earth. The sun for instance, was bright, and it was taking the chill slowly out of the air. There was a lady across the way there, and she was taking annoying pictures with a small white lapdog. Talking on her phone quite loudly, overly enthused about some surely trivial thing, - she flapped her gums into the phone and I kept on going. That was when I saw it. Well, I first heard it, - a rustle that was larger than the rustle of a squirrel. I wasn’t far from the car, and there was still a fence that divided the makeshift parking area from the woodland. I looked. I looked and then stopped and looked. It was a coyote. He or she I do not know, so shall call it ‘he.’ He had seen us first, been watching us, and then went back just for safe measure about ten feet. Stopping, he looked again. I guess the dogs would have chased him off, and wanted to, - so I held them back for the time being. It was a face to face situation I had not been in before, and the end of the fence separating them was only about five feet by then. I looked again. I thought he had run off but had stopped to observe us. I looked at him and found him to be simply beautiful, more like an almost fully grown pup than anything else. Gray, fluffy, healthy, spry. He ran away, back to the huge flaxen field-hill under the light pastel blue sky with a few certain whiffs of pieces of white cloud hovering overhead. It all felt mystical or at the least auspicious. A sighting. I researched them and found that they run in packs and also sometimes live for times individually. They also can form packs that are loosely made, meaning not with family members but simply with others. I figured we would walk a few pathways over, but still go in the similar direction that we usually did when there. It was then I realized what might have drawn him there besides the warm weather and simple yet ample curiosity. It was the annoying lady on her phone making all that noise. That, and moreso, her small white lapdog. He had been watching the dog, the pair. Little did the lady know. Instinct is a funny thing. I am a human, and was all for the coyote, thinking the lady and the lapdog should not be harmed, but should leave, - that a place like this was his place. The glen and thicket and berries, the small stream and especially the open field that was really a large summit that served as both. The quiet shaded areas under the numerous Pines. The valley and what was further than the valley. Let her go yap on her cell phone somewhere else, and take the dog with her. I walked along the valley top. I could soon hear more sounds like at the beginning. These were not squirrels. They were something else and though I did not see anything this time, I felt they were more coyotes- maybe part of the original ones pack. He had wandered off perhaps to see the sites. The dogs ran down the valley wall and chased something, but I heard no fight, yelping, bark. They chased something up and across in front of me and continued on. Having been with them for two, two and a half years, and daily, - it was possibly the fastest I had ever seen them go. And not even in an open field! - But amidst all kinds of trees, chaparral, brush and wildflower, log, fallen branch, - and they had come up a hill to boot! - A steep one that if you fell down it would be quite hard to recover. It could almost be called a cliff. How wonderful it was to resume the walk as the dogs looped back up with me- just in front in fact. There was freedom. Like writing without a rule, without a reader, without a purpose,- that is how we walked the rest of the way and day there,- openly, freely, innocently, dare I say,- happily. 


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