Coyote Musings

I saw a coyote on my way to work this morning, making his way across an empty field. He was moving at what looked to me like a hunting trot, rather than a going-somewhere canter, so I guess he was off to ruin some poor rodent’s day.

I’m always impressed by how intent coyotes look, focused on the far horizon as they travel at a ground-eating lope. You don’t often see a coyote pausing to admire the scenery – they always give the impression of Going Somewhere Important to Do Things That Matter. Very efficient creatures. If they were office workers, they’d be accounting clerks, I think – very task oriented, short and long term goals neatly laid out and adhered to, schedules to be maintained, reports to be generated. Not big partiers, coyotes, although they do have that howling pack thing going for them – the equivalent to Friday nights at the bar after work, perhaps.

They lack the frenzied quality of squirrels and chipmunks, who always seem to have 48 MORE THINGS TO DO THAN CAN POSSIBLY BE ACCOMPLISHED IN ONE DAY!!! yet can stop to gossip at regular intervals. Sales support staff have similar qualities, I’ve noticed.

Not a bad life, that of the coyote. Not a lot of respect, perhaps, but you carve out your niche, build a comfortable routine, stake out your territory. And coyotes can fit themselves in almost anywhere.

But I think I’d rather be a wolf than a coyote. Wolves seem to enjoy themselves more. Sure, when they’re hunting they’re very serious (and deadly), but between kills you see them wrestling, lounging about in the sunshine, playing with the kids. And they get to kill BIG stuff – deer, elk, moose – prey that earns you a little respect around the drinking hole.

Wolves have that devil-may-care aura about them, while coyotes exude diligence and attention to detail. Not that there’s anything wrong with diligence and attention to detail – the world could probably use a lot more of both. But I’m rather sadly lacking in those particular traits, so I’d make a rather poor coyote – the others in my pack would worry about my lack of focus, and send me on those one-day self-help courses.

Wolves, I think, would be more understanding.