The Wild, as most know, loves music.
Music is loved because The Wild is full of music. Not just the calls of animals but their movement as well. Not just the wind in the trees but the leaves budding, the bark hardening, the sunlight nourishing. Not just the waters in their courses but the rocks they wash over, the paths they carve out.
And, of course, good tunes.
We’re always playing music and it’s fascinating to learn which critters like which music.
Rabbits, it seems, tend to pay attention to Billy Preston.
Don’t know why. Haven’t asked.
I appreciate their taste, though.
Long ago I would go out at night with my clarinet and alto sax. About five minutes playing in, eyes would ring from out of the woods. Soon I’d hear rustling as four-legged things hustled back and forth. Soon a coyote or two would come forward, then another, then another and another, and together we’d all sing.
I wonder if Billy Preston needs a partner?
They only come out at night (with all due apologies to The Edgar Winter Group).
Truth is, our coyote come out fairly often. Mostly late afternoons into evening, granted, but often.
This is fine with us.
One of the habits of denning coyote is foraging at night when most reasonable Two-Leggers are asleep or at least safely tucked indoors.
Not so us.
The Wild knows we are not reasonable Two-Leggers.
So it is with Samuel, a handsome and robust father of (we suspect) at least two.
We make sure Samuel has something for his pups.
It’s not our job to preserve The Wild.
But we do attempt to maintain balance. There are many more Two-Leggers who are not willing to share.
You’re not one, are you?
And if you’re not willing to share, you’re not willing to share because…?
I mentioned last week coyote are cautious.
This week’s offering is a continuation, if you will, shot a few moments later in the evening.
What stood out here is the coyote gazing into the sky periodically and shying away. There were no astronomical oddities that night; no comets, no meteors, no blinding conjunctions.
What caused him to look up so often?
It reminded me of a story I read long, long ago. Basically, there was a killer asteroid coming at the earth. Simultaneous with the discovery of this asteroid, cetaceans as an order being singing a unified song. Some group studying whale song was close to decoding their language. Whale ancestors, it was known, survived the last ELE.
The uptake in song is part of their race memory and translates to “Lords of the Sky, Let Us Live.”
Wish I could track down that story and reread it. I remember it gave me chills back then.
I mentioned last week coyote are clever.
This week we learn they are also cautious.
With good reason, me thinks. They are misunderstood and misunderstanding’s denmate is caution, its cousin is fear.
How many times have you not been sure of something and chosen caution as the default mechanism?
Take a look at any government’s plans for an alien attack (what? you’re surprised such things really exist?) and you’ll see movies, novels, TV and radio dramas go mild in the response area. If you’ve never heard of “If I can’t have you then nobody can” as a dating strategy, check out these plans.
Can you say Scorched Earth?
Governments learned by observing their own colonizing endgames, me thinks. It use to be said, “Better dead than Red.” Seems to be their current thinking, as well.
So caution is the wisest move in the short term. Until proven otherwise.
Have you ever had the opportunity to win the confidence of The Wild?
It takes time. Lots of time.
And it’s worth it.
The Old Ones…they remember.
Coyote are clever.
Not to put down other Old Ones. The Wild doesn’t tolerate poor design. You think humans are grand engineers? Everything not manmade on this planet has gone through enumerable iterations, each one a minor improvement over the last.
Then how come things are going extinct, you ask?
Because humans are stupid.
We are evolution’s “big brain” experiment. It experimented with big muscle, big size, big this and that, none of them worked out.
Want the kicker?
We won’t, either.
But the coyote…if humans mind their own business and take out only themselves, the coyote – who were here before us – will be here after us.
Coyote have urbanized in many places. They’ve adapted to us. They’ll adapt to without-us.
The coyote near us have learned to listen to the raccoons. Do they hear the raccoons munching on peanuts and dog food?
That means Two-Legs have put food out, and easy treats are hard to come by in our world.
So they listen. They approach. They rustle to let the raccoons know they’re coming, time for the raccoons to leave, and they dine.
And so we’ll let them be.