Preditors that pass in the night – or – You can’t leave a note for a coyote

Coyotes were out last night. From my front yard I could hear a pack of them singing over the roofs of the houses on the next street. In the wee hours of the morning a lone Coyote padded across the dry grass behind my house.

Oscar the cat had spent the night out and worried me sick.

I’ve never heard so many coyotes – ever. This year it was dry so they have easy targets in the homes that invade their territories. Dog food, cat food, cats and dogs supplement their usual mice, rabbits, birds and snakes. Plus homes are a water source for coyotes who just don’t feel like making the trek down to the nearby creeks and lake. And a few people within walking distance of my home have decided to become urban chicken farmers – a boon for coyotes. They might have well put us a neon sign saying “EAT HERE. CHICKEN DINNERS.”

Don’t get me wrong, I adore the happy sounds of chickens when the sun comes up (and no roosters).  Chickens are cute. Chickens are fun. Chickens make eggs. Chickens are coyote magnets.

And unlike dogs, coyotes don’t belong to anyone. Had it been dogs all these nights I could have left a note.


As you can see, there is a reason my husband tells me not to leave notes. Maybe it is the sloppy handwriting or the shabby stationary. There have been some discussions about my un-lady-like use of language… Well…back to the point of this essay…

I can’t leave a note for a coyote. A coyote who is on her own turf.  A coyote who, as long as she stays out of my yard, has every right to go to work and support her family and take care of her children, just like I do. A coyote who can’t read (there lies the problem.)

And no, I can’t do anything about these animals except watch them in the dark and keep my screaming cats inside. The dog knows better. She won’t go outside after dark if coyotes are around. Good dog.

I lock eyes with two glowing orbs in the tall grass behind the oaks. Two more come into view. I have plenty of sway with some creatures of the night, but coyotes listen to no one. The eyes turn out to be a possum who runs away perhaps to avoid being invited to dinner by the coyotes.

It sort of makes me wonder about the whole Vampire thing. Who is the predator and who is not? OK I just wrote that to sound deep. It’s a bunch of BS. I never wondered about that sort of thing. It is what it is.

Oh look, Adam is here.
Oh look, Adam is here.

This morning I saw Adam my Werewolf friend. We’re doing a photo shoot together in a few weeks (another story, just work stuff).

“Hey, Adam,” I said “I have a coyotes behind my house. Can you help me…”

Adam cut me off and gave me the look. “Really? I know what you’re going to ask and the answer is no. I don’t deal with coyotes. Wolves, yes. Coyotes, absolutely not. I can’t believe you even asked me that.”

I wanted to remind Adam that I can’t believe he almost ripped out my throat a year ago, but I kept it to myself.

When I see a coyote they won’t look at me directly but they’ll turn and trot the other way. Or they’ll ignore me as if I’m a shadow, for to them I am nothing but a shadow in their coyote lives.

I have to wonder if coyotes have souls, or if they visit the souls of dogs at night and create nightmares.

Do they come back as ghosts and haunt the woods they share with the bobcats and deer? I doubt that. Only humans are foolish enough to let their souls slip into the realm of ghosts.

So I guess at night I’ll hear their parties and songs and just be glad it is coyotes and not my teens out there making all the noise.

And I suppose everyone else should be glad it is just coyotes and not Vampires (just had to throw that in.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Coyotes that pass in the night
Coyotes that pass in the night


  1. I have to agree with Teddy, you shouldn’t be leaving notes. As much as I laughed out loud – that stationary just screams white trash…

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