Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Coyote Song

At 3:00 this morning, the coyotes started yipping outside our window. I love their enthusiasm and style. Their Latin name, Canis latrans, means barking dog, and they certainly live up to it; it's amazing how two or three coyotes can sound like an entire pack, as their yip-yip-yip-howl bounces off the hills. The yipping and howling are communicating territory and pack information, but it sounds like there is a lot more going on - it sounds like coyote is laughing about some trick he pulled on someone; it's no wonder that Native Americans considered Coyote a trickster. I like coyotes for their ability to survive in any circumstances, to fit into the interstices of human presence, to use all the clues to make it work. And for the way they leap into the air to pounce on a gopher, all four feet together. So their chorus in the middle of the night always makes me smile.

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