I stepped into the street gripping two wild—yet fluffy—white dogs. They tugged at the end of two tattered leashes, gnawing their teeth, ripping up handfuls of grass as we entered the park. Movement down the blacktop caught my attention. It didn’t look like a dog. Bigger, different rhythm to its gait. I’d left my walking glasses inside and didn’t have my reading glasses. I squinted, what is that?
From across the street, Kathy came flying out of her house. “Coyote, coyote!” she yelped. Rod whipped past on his 22-speed ready to take on anything, but mostly to get a closer view with immediate plans for a quick get-away. Joyce cornered a couple coming out of the schoolyard with their black dogs and filled them in on the commotion. Her arms waved wilding as she worried over whether to work in her garden. “He ran into the woods behind my house.”
As biker Bob rolled up on his motorcycle she ran into the street and stopped his progress towards home. “Coyote, come see!” she encouraged. Bob shook his head overdue for breakfast and putted his Yamaha two doors down. Joyce blinked; baffled at her next step she turned towards me.
Never to be deterred from adventure I took her elbow and guided her towards her house. “I’ll check it out with you,” I assured. She opened the door and I followed, pulling out my camera. I fingered the steel button as we traversed through the house watching for the green dot to indicate: prepared. Yes, I purred, we’re ready.
Hardened adventurer though I am, I did take a deep breath. Something wafted through the room, an aroma. I sniffed the air. I liked that smell. I flicked my eyes around and spied a hefty coffee mug neglected on her kitchen table and wondered briefly where the pot was and whether I could just mainline the brown liquid.
Joyce softly slid the slider open. Without making a sound we stepped out onto her broad deck, and I offered a silent, poignant prayer there would be java at the end of this detour through my carefully planned day.
I stayed safely on the deck. Feet firmly planted. Snapped a few photos and threw a worried glance as Joyce skipped off, slowed and crept through the grass. “Nothing scares me,” she noted, whispering over her shoulder, “Except your barking dogs.”
I nodded. “Yes, those little beasts sound big, and admittedly badly behaved when out, but darling in the house,” I offered.
She narrowed her eyes on me. “Sure,” she agreed, not agreeing at all.
Photo session ended without sight of our new undomesticated ‘neighbor.’ “Hey, thanks,” I noted snapping my camera back into its holster. “Maybe I’ll come back for coffee.”
“How about beer?” she suggested, and knew we’d be close friends for a long time.