Sunday, June 12, 2011

Suffering Thing

I found her suffering a short distance from my home, and a quarter mile from the main road. Her injuries were obvious. She’d dragged her useless hind legs behind, as far as she could from her terminal encounter with the speeding metal and glass beasts that prey on her and her brood.

She panted with fear, exhaustion and pain. Propped up by front legs, extended in an unnatural angle, she held her head high, jaws agape. I dared not look into her eyes, for fear of causing her further distress or myself, panic at the sight of her suffering. Standing at a distance I considered…what to do? 

I returned home, where all was well and all in place. I filled a bucket with water...put it in the truck and drove down the road to the new-found dead-end. Placing it as close to her as possible without causing her alarm, I made myself small and returned home.

For coyote, man is a deadly enemy. We have vaguely sentimental ideas of being in sympathy with their plight. But all such sentimentality pales in consideration to their reality. They are shot. They are poisoned. They are struck dead by our vehicles. They are starved and choked by the vagaries of nature; their lives the penultimate expressions of the existential.

The following day, I found her, cold and stiff beside the bucket from which I hope she had drawn one last bit of comfort. She was given respectful covering. Then and I withdrew.

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