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  • We were driving out of Stovepipe Wells, rising in elevation towards Townes Pass, heading west on 190.

    The coyote appeared, like a magus on the highway.

    He approached the driver's side, and he stopped. It was a stare-down. He looked damaged, his fur bedraggled. Do not feed the animals in the wild. And yet, we humans do feed the wild creatures, and the wild creatures distort their wild nature, becoming random noshers like us, brought into our junky gorgings. We feed them, we call them cute, we come to their habitats and we have lost our own majesty of respect.

    I wished for a mutual respect with the coyote, but it was--like his fur--a more bedraggled encounter. He came out of the sunshine shadows, less as a wild one, than as a beggar. What have we done, in our enterprise to know our own nature, as we bring the regal furred ones into our disbalance?

    The coyote was less a wild one who ruled the road up the mountain and into the badlands, than he was a golden furred homeless.

    He came to the vehicle to beg food. He was a veteran of the mountain conflicts, and we humans had somehow made him into a roadside petitioner.

    He begged. We declined. We drove on.

    (Sketch by Susan)
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