Bonus Story: The Old Coyote


I hear the people calling to me–“the old coyote!”  I don’t get mad.  In a way, it makes me proud.  Not many of us get to be old.

I know I am near the end of my time, but I am happy.  I have done many good things.  Like the time my family was starving and I tracked the dying deer.  It was enough meat to last us half way through the winter.  And the time I saved a brood of pups from a rabid badger.  I still have the scars from that horrible fight.

My line will go on.  I’ve had many babies by many wives.  Although I never see them, I know they are there.  I can hear them howling to me by the light of the full moon.

I left my family long ago, so that I would not be a burden to them.  It’s the way of us.  When one cannot keep up it hurts everyone.  I could not be that one.  I am too proud.

When I left, I roamed the people streets for a while.  Digging in their trashcans for food.  Eating an occasional sick cat.  But the people don’t like these things.  The people don’t understand what it is to survive.  They took notice of me and even tried to kill me.

So I ran away again, and that’s when I came to this place.  It’s a strange land.  It looks half wild with wide open grass plains, but it also has people places spread among the grounds.  The people here are different.  When I first came, they left me bits of meat.  It was welcomed, since I was close to death.  But then I figured out how I could feed myself and be of use to the people here.

For some reason, the people like to cut their grass short and the gophers love this because they think it is easier to see us coming.  But over my many years, I have learned to be quiet.  The gophers here are fat and easy to catch.  And they are everywhere.  When I catch them, the people are very happy. The only thing gophers know how to do is dig, which ruins the plains.  People dislike this more than they dislike me.  So they affectionally call me the old coyote.

Everyday I grow more tired.  So tired.  It will not be long now before I join the moon.  I will see my mother again, and we will run together in the sky chasing the stars.

I have lived a good life, and I deserve to run through the stars.


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