We’ve come to regard our 13-year old quarterhorse, George as a “hero”. There are some clues in his background that hint as to why, but those are another story altogether. Suffice it to say that George “looks after” things in true alpha-horse fashion.
As I came home one afternoon to feed the horses, George thundered across the field with whinnies, snorts, and head-tossing; all signs of an “event”. He greeted me at the fence with a series of wuffles & snorts, turning his head towards the centre of the field all the while. I peered past him and noticed a barely distinguishable lump about 40 meters away. As I climbed the fence to investigate, George pranced off into the field with tail high & snorting all the way. Apparently this was no ordinary lump.
About the time I got close enough to realise the “lump” was not of that field, the “lump” moved! Maybe my eyes are finally giving out, or maybe I’m just thick, but I didn’t recognize that lump for what it was until it growled at me. I found myself staring at the most disheveled coyote I’ve ever seen. If a coyote could be born boneless, this is surely what one would have looked like.
The coyote tried in vain to raise himself, but there were simply too many broken bones to allow him to stand. But even as I watched, he managed a half-roll, half-flop, making surprisingly good time towards the edge of the field. In no time, that hapless bag of hurt disappeared over the edge of the ditch.
Looking over the battle zone afterwards I saw hoof prints everywhere, and the tufts of coyote fur deeply embedded into the ground underneath most of them pretty much told the rest of the story. I’m not sure how that critter got close enough to let George get the first kick, but it was undoubtedly the most painful, and last, mistake he ever made. A thorough inspection of George revealed nothing more than a few strands of tail hair out of place. We’ve had an increasing problem with coyotes locally, with them becoming so brazen that I’ve had to chase them out of the barn. Since that episode though, I’ve only caught glimpses, as they skip across every field but ours.
I would have liked to have a taxidermist preserve that coyote, just like I found him. Picture him hanging from the gate, with a sign reading, “If you think you’re tougher than this, c’mon in!”