Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Am Not Bald

The coyotes in my part of town, I've been told, are here because fox hunters a few decades back transported the prairie wolves to central Georgia to inter-breed with their own hunting stock. Being highly adaptable animals, the creatures made themselves at home readily enough.

Next to my previous house was a county preserve, and I had grown accustomed to seeing little rabbits and squirrels darting about hither and yon. Then, it seemed like all my scurrying and burrowing neighbors moved out in short order. The truth is, however, that the little guys are standard fare on the coyote's menu.

I actually spotted a coyote in the area, though the sighting was a few miles from my house. They're cunning creatures, and normally they move only from cover to cover; that I saw one in mid-day among so much foliage was an uncommon piece of luck. They don't usually bother humans, though small animals and people's pets are fair game.

A while afterwards while perusing the city's web site I spotted a topic on the community forum about coyotes in the area. I added a few comments, one of which was the question, "I wonder if the city would ever do anything about the coyotes?" It was a long-shot, but I was curious if trapping and relocation was too much trouble.

The discussion didn't go anywhere, however, because one of my Gaia-gaga neighbors took exception to my use of the phrase "do something about" and derailed the conversation.

"Oh, you want the city to do something about the coyotes do you?" my pseudonymous critic began. "The coyotes are just doing what's natural for them, and here you are trying to drive them to extinction," the screed continued. "Just who do you think you are? I bet you're a bald middle aged fat guy who waters his lawn during illegal hours and whose wife drives a gas-guzzling SUV!" The diatribe included a few more sentiments of the sort before smoldering out.

Now, I could stand to shed a few pounds, but otherwise the accusations were nowhere close to accurate. I'm shy of middle age, I never watered my lawn, I've never owned an SUV, and I'm prematurely gray, not bald.

Beyond all that, coyotes are so good at surviving in any environment that if I had the know-how and talent to drive them to extinction, I'd be rich from having sold the secret to midwestern farmers and cattlemen, not poking around a community web site.

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