The Circle of Life – Not Fun

Warning: If the circle of life doesn’t go over well with you, skip this one.

I’m sort of sensitive, as you may have figured out, and while I have a realistic view of life and death, I’m still vulnerable to caring about the life around me.

So much life around here.

So, last Thursday, when I went to get in my car to go to my Master Naturalist meeting, I heard strange noises in the garage. I wondered what the heck my little dachshund mix, Vlassic, could be doing back in the tool area. I called out to him, and heard “grr” in response.

What’s back there?

I carefully approached the work area, where some things had been pushed close together to make it easier for my brother-in-law to get around with his walker. Lo and behold, something was wedged in the space between the work bench and the shed. It was not Vlassic.

In there?

It was big and gray. Was it a hog? A cattle dog? A coyote? Yes, it was a coyote. A very sad and scared coyote. I obviously could not help it. It was in pain and could hurt me. So, I ran in and told Lee. He said to go to my meeting and he’d help it get out.

He did that, and saw that it was badly injured, but no one could catch it (a wild animal) to take it anywhere for rehab. We were pretty sad about the poor thing. I admit that I cried.

The guys saw it go into the pond a couple of times, then run off after Alfred OPENED THE GATE and confronted it. Yes, Alfred can open the gate, he just chooses not to. What a great guard dog.

So, all weekend we’ve been wondering about the coyote. This morning I saw about twenty turkey vultures gathered in the pasture by the road next to the house. Was it the coyote?

Buzzard Central.

No, it was a young possum that had gotten hit by a car. I probably over-reacted, but I was sad, because I am pretty sure I saw it combing home Thursday night, snacking away on the side of the road. I’m fond of possums.

Sent good thoughts to this guy, too. One of the weird things I do it say a little “prayer” or affirmation every time I see an animal that was hit by a car. They deserve good thoughts.

Then, this afternoon, I got one of those weird feelings like I should go out behind the house and check for things. I found a beautiful milkweed plant. I kept walking, because I saw a weird “root” in the pond. I’d never seen it before, and I pretty much know what trees are in there, even after the winter storms.

A home for monarchs! Antelope horns!

Sigh, it was the coyote. What drove it into the pond? I don’t know. But it turns out it must have been run over by a car. The poor dear must have been trying to end its pain.

The pond brings peace in many ways, even to animals in pain.

Lee and I are both relieved that our coyote neighbor is out of its pain, because we sure felt bad that were were unable to help it or put it out of its pain. Circle of Life. Ugh.

Life’s a mystery, full of joy and sadness.

Living our in the country exposes you to to the beauty and the struggles in nature. All you can do is observe and do your best. I gave our coyote neighbor a flower and said what passes for a prayer for it.

I threw it a flower.

I’m glad I found it, because it could have messed up the pond by decaying in there. Now it is out (I didn’t do it) and it can feed other beings and the circle life will continue.

You never know what’s next.

It’s actually been an okay weekend, other than pondering life and death. I just had to write this out, because I need to stop processing and get some closure. Sharing the story helps the coyote live on in my memory and the memory of others. That makes it immortal!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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