One recent night, quite late, we heard a rustling.
No, not reindeer.
Mel and Janice, two mated Coyote, come to visit.
Coyote come at night most often. We’ve seen one or two during the day and we know there’s too much activity for them to stick around. We had a family of beautiful gray fox years ago that came often during daylight, probably because we made sure there was food available.
We still have fox, although also at night.
Smart Old Ones, they.
The frequency we see of Mel and Janice tells us they either have pups or soon will. It can’t be too soon because it is now winter and few Old Ones litter in the bitter cold. Late Winter, early Spring is best. Little ones have a chance to grow through the summer and prepare for a possible scarce winter ahead.
We are careful not to be our Old Ones primary food source.
Sometimes it is challenging, when you see a weak one, a runt. Our hearts tear but that is Nature’s way of keeping the line clean.
Sometimes I wonder why humanity gave up such practices.
But then I also know I would not have survived. Born blind, I would be too much a burden for a tribe to bear, any other talents I possess may have appeared too late to ameliorate the burden.
A friend once said I was probably the smartest person she knew. I laughed. Her husband is a skilled carpenter. He can go from tree to house given enough time.
“People will always ask Mike for help. He knows how to do things. I’ve never had anyone come to me and say, ‘Joseph, I desperately need this double-differential calculated!’,” I said.
We all laughed.
But outside, the Old Ones dined and kept their ways, too wise for us, their teachings only shared when properly asked.