with Horse and Hound

Coyote In the Mist: A Fleeting Engagement

coyote.crop.sheila armstrong hodgsonIllustration by Sheila Armstrong Hodgson

The primal fears of our ancestors remain not that far beneath the surface of our psyche. We think of ourselves as sophisticated human beings. Superior to the animals around us. We communicate well between ourselves. But can we cross that border to reach understanding with other wild species? I had an incident that challenged my rational mind and brought to the surface some deep, dark fears from the primeval past.

It was early November, the time of year when I like to get my small country property tidied up and put to bed for its long winter sleep. I had been tied up with city matters for most of the day and returned home with just enough daylight hours left to finish some cleanup work on the three-acre field at the back of the property. This remote little idyl borders on the cedar swamp which marks the property line to the west.

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