Not in my backyard. Not on my watch. Not if I can help it anyway.
I went out this morning and fed the cats. They were more than ready for breakfast. Its a challenge feeding them on a good day because they want to wrap around my ankles. Days like today with a layer of snow on the steps adds another degree of difficulty to the act. I managed though and once fed and fresh water given came back inside and sat down.
At one point I glanced up and saw Slash watching something in the woods. He started to run but stopped and kept watching. I stood up to try and see what he was watching. It was a very large coyote and it was actually in my back yard just behind the old well. Not on my watch beast.
I hurried through the house and out onto the back porch. Pushing the door open I shouted at the coyote and it hurried away. I watched it lope down the hill in the direction of the main road. As I watched it doubled back up on the far hill and stopped. When I shouted at it again, it began to walk away. I have no doubt the beast will be back. I sent my nephew a text message letting him know as they have chickens. Their kids are also friendly with the neighbor’s kids and can warn them so they can keep watch on their cat.
My mother had told me yesterday that she saw a coyote moving down the hill. She had at first thought it one of my dogs because it was so far away and didn’t get a really clear view. I see why now, that was a big coyote. It appears to be close in size and weight to my Bella. Last time she was weighed she came in at fifty-five pounds. I thought at first it looked too large to be a coyote, but I checked and they can get that big, especially males.
It also bothers me that yesterday I tossed out some leftover scraps at the edge of the yard. I hadn’t seen or heard any signs of coyote being close in a long time so I haven’t worried about them. I had thought that some of the other woodland critters would take care of it, now, I feel that I may have been creating a bait site for the coyote. Thankfully I haven’t seen any signs of an animal being injured but I also know coyote usually carry off their meals. At least I hope they do. I don’t want to see signs of the circle of life and think I set it up.
The way I see it, I basically invited something evil into my backyard. In all innocence maybe, but the truth is, I set the plate and the coyote responded. How often do we do that in our life? We do something maybe innocently, maybe we know we shouldn’t but think once will be fine, maybe we simply go along with the crowd because everyone else is doing this thing. We are standing on a precipice and don’t realize the mess we are about to make.
Even the things that are not an issue for some, may be destructive to others. One drink with friends can be fine for some, but for the individual who may be physiologically different, their body becomes dependent on the alcohol. To relax, to feel socially acceptable, or any number of other reasons they crave the drink. But that dependence can lead to serious problems. Broken homes, loss of jobs, traffic accidents.
There are many, many things we can invite into our backyard. Gambling, drugs, pornography, addictions that can be physical, mental, emotional escape mechanisms but lead to a world of pain.
We can prevent this when we learn and stand strong in who we are. Even when there are those who seek to make us feel or seem less than worthy, when we realize they are wrong, we can avoid the beast that sets to do us harm. If we see someone of any age being mistreated, when we stand strong for them, showing them they are worthy, we help chase away the beast. When we reach out in compassion and love, we build a hope in the suffering that can chase away the beast. When we take the time to educate, to help them see their worth, to be the mentor needed, we help chase away the beast. When we help them to understand there are other, better, healthier ways to do life, we help chase away the beast.
Then it is important that we set boundaries and guidelines that prevent the beast from ever attempting to return.
Yes, I realize that what I have written is a simplistic view and response, especially when dealing with the beasts that come into our lives. I realize that the dealing with, the battles and the storms we fight, are not easily won. It is a struggle that may last hours or years. In the end, when the last shot has been fired and the battle won, the beast defeated, it is well worth the fight.