My brother took this photo of a coyote in his backyard. Beautiful picture!
When I saw the photo, it made me think of a few children’s stories, i.e Little Red Riding Hood, Aesop’s Fables: The Fox and the Grapes and Pinocchio. However, I realized those stories use a “fox” as a character and not a “coyote,” but I thought how similar these animals look. So, I found a photo of a fox to compare to the coyote, you can see as well.
I am in the process of writing a children’s book and it seems that the animals most used are mice, bears, foxes and frogs.. not a coyote very often and if it is used it seems to be in a story related to the Southwest. Although, now the coyote has ventured to normal neighborhoods like our small town in Indiana.
As the Universe would have it, I was reading the WSJ the other day and there was an article about coyotes by David Roberts called, “The Original Bolshevik.” It did not paint a pretty picture of the coyote. I enjoyed the article as it gave a little history lesson on who the coyote is and where he has come today.
I smiled when Roberts said in the past, the settlers would “fear” the howl, whine and chatter of the coyote and now when we hear the howling on a camping trip, we are not afraid, but more interested in catching a glimpse of this animal with the vision of the moon behind him, which is the picture etched in our minds. I guess it would be like catching a glimpse of a bat or a vampire… we want to see “what they are up to” in the dark of the night, from a distance, of course, so we can write about it!
In my Google search I read that coyotes/foxes do not normally hurt or eat humans, but they have been venturing toward neighborhoods in search of food. Many people leave cat/dog food out and they like it. They also eat squirrels, rabbits, mice, rats, insects, fish, frogs, berries and different fruits.
The howling is a group exercise I read and a form of communication between them, but nothing more and they are sneaky and smart with a keen sense of smell. I think this is why we find them intriguing, we just don’t know what they are “up to.”
For example, when I lived in Chicago the media was in uproar when a “coyote” walked into a Quizno’s sandwich shop during the day and went to lie down in the cooler where they had the cold drinks. That caught everyone by surprise.
I told you… they are sneaky!