The southeast corner of Arizona is populated with the natural and the un-natural. And, the most un-natural are the modern-Man-transplants. This was once the domain of Cochise of the Chiracuaua band of Apache who lay close to the earth and the course of nature. Today, the vast majority of us here, have the most tenuous of grips on the very narrowest of ledges upon which we survive. The sun imposes its will in the day, and beats down the most physical. The night brings with it a transcendent blaze of stars that chases away all the rest. But the denizens of the desert remain. One of which is known as Trickster Coyote.
It was early twilight when Man came upon Trickster as She slunk through his yard.
Man demanded in alarm, “Hey, you! Stop!”
Trickster froze in a low crouch. Her look locked on Man in a most cautious way. Man could tell She was checking his hands for anything of weapon-nature.
Man clenched his fists. “What-the-hell! I told you to stay out of my fenced area during the day!”
Trickster raised Her head skyward and indicated with Her eyes. “It is not day, friend. Do you not see the stars? It becomes the night.”
“Yes, but you’re pushing the limit of the agreement.”
“Remind me again, please. I have become feeble.”
“You can’t enter my yard during the day, only at night.”
Said Trickster, with a touch of irony, “Ahhh, yes...the night is mine. You want me to come and clean up the swarm of mice and rabbits that eat your pretty plants...to do you a favor.”
Man retorted, “It’s me doing you a favor. I allow you this! I even give you water.”
Trickster dipped Her head slightly in contrition. “For the water, I thank you much. But you have much and I little. An indulgence please: one of those?”
Man could see Trickster was peering through his legs. He turned in time to see one of his cats hurrying its plumpness into his house.
Man scowled. “That’s what the agreement is about. They’re a part of me. You bite them, you bite me!”
Trickster‘s mouth drew into a wry smile. “Then at least allow me to tree them. They will look very pretty decorating your decadent shade trees.”
"Decadent trees? You are the decadent one", Man growled
Trickster was ready for Man. “No sir, you are wrong. Without the aid of all of the most unnatural things you have brought with you, you would collapse into the dust. Your trees need a prodigious amount of water that you must suck from the Earth. You hide yourselves inside your boxes, from the face of the heat and the cold and the rain. You do not grow food yourselves but drag it here and eat mountainous amounts until your ridiculous, fat bellies leave you listless and unable to walk. And then you excuse your lazy repose by saying the land about you is monotonous…so boring you seldom venture beyond your little fenced perimeter. It is you who are decadent. I, who am part of nature, will never be so.”
Man was taken aback by the imperative tone of Trickster. He shifted his feet nervously. He felt unstable, as if he had been shoved. “Again…stay out of my yard during the day. I’ll indulge you an occasional dead chicken or duck, but leave my pets alone. I…and…uh…your howling is disturbing my peace.”
“I am sure you are refering to my yipping, that calls my friends and family together, you find so disturbing. The Song I sing I know you to admire. It comes from my soul. It makes my heart pound and quakes my very body. You know it to be the truth and you envy me. Your music is stupid and loud and sounds of something about to break into pieces. But I see Men all about stepping from their boxes to hear my Song. They stand at attention and listen and admire it for a very long time. So, you see, I also sing for you.”
Man was now thoroughly flustered. “Go away. But remember the agreement. And…give my best to Cochise.”
“Ahhh...yes…of course…Cochise. You speak of The One. You invoke him and assume him to be one of yours. You think by doing so it will make you great by association. But Cochise was closer to my kind than to yours. He and his pack learned their ways from me, Coyote, but you and those of your ilk are his simple, distant, degenerate cousins. He is more a part of me than he a part of you. I go now.”
Trickster’s voice had worked a mesmerizing effect upon Man. It was then She moved with silence, grace, and swiftness through the barbed fence and vanished into the brush. Man was left standing at attention, staring as the new stars grew slowly in intensity as his transfixed state faded. A cool breeze brushed his hair across his brow. He found himself alone. Man wondered if he had imagined his entire conversation with Trickster.