MY FIRST COYOTE
Some seven years ago I made my acquaintance with Alberta, Canada. We lived for a while on a ranch 30 miles west 'of Calgary and our nearest neighbor was three and a half miles away. At first we found it almost impossible to sleep, owing to the howling of the coyotes, and they were so numerous and unafraid that they came to within a few yards of the house. One night we had placed a large piece of salt beef in a spring near the door to freshen and that was the signal for a special gathering of the coyotes. They made a fearful din and next morning the meat (our last piece) was gone.
I determined, if possible, to teach our visitors a lesson, and believing that they would return on the following night, I waited in readiness. About the usual time of gathering, the unearthly noise began and one fellow came so near that he seemed to be on the doorstep. I was inexperienced in the ways of prairie wolves and was not at all keen about opening the door, now that they were actually on the ground. However, I opened the door about an inch and peeped through, and, sure enough, there was Mr. Coyote, his eyes blinking through the long grass in the brilliant moonlight. I got my double-barreled shotgun and loaded it with BB shot.
Cautiously I reopened the door and still there were the eyes, bigger and brighter than ever. I aimed as best I could in the uncertain light, pulled both triggers and the eyes gleamed no longer. I was quite proud of my prowess, but afraid to go near until I had procured a lantern and reloaded my gun. Then I approached very cautiously, lest the monster be only wounded and ready to attack; but after assuring myself that all was safe I pulled aside the long grass to gaze upon my victim. An 1 there I found him—not the ferocious wolf that I expected, but a harmless five gallon kerosene oil can, whose bright tin sides had been glinting in the moonlight, but which were now so full of shot holes as to be utterly unfit for further service.
A. E. R.
Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.
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