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We Were The Hunted!

“God, please save us!” I prayed, as Gonzo and I tripped and stumbled in the dark over bushes, branches, and felled trees. I was hoping and praying that cutting through the woods and across the ditch would slow the coyotes down enough for us to make it back home safely. We had no other option.


I had returned to The Adventure Cabin after dark, still dressed in church clothes. Nothing fancy, like a dress or anything, just clothes I liked. Gonzo was waiting patiently, as always, but it had been a long time since he’d had a walk. So, we geared up and headed out.


We walked down the road toward the church, but Gonzo smelled something he wanted to track in the hayfield. I wasn’t quite dressed for tracking some long-gone critter, but Gonzo had been cooped up for longer than he would have liked, so I obliged.


He was pretty excited and I struggled with being annoyed at his eagerness to pull me off balance toward whatever prey I was keeping him from. The hunter soon became the hunted, though.


We were deep into the hayfield when I heard a dog barking in the woods on the opposite side of the road by the edge of the field. “There’s no dog living near there.” I thought. “Crap! It has to be off-leash.” “More crap! I don’t even have citronella spray on me to keep it away.”


Gonzo gets a bit murdery around other dogs. If the beast came near Gonzo, I had nothing to keep it away or break up a fight. We had to move away from it quickly and hope it would go back into the woods across the road.


Gonzo’s blue light dangled from his collar, only slightly illuminating our path, but certainly showing the dog where we were. The barks seemed to be coming closer and, apparently, Fido wanted to meet us.


All of a sudden, I began to hear howling and cackling near the dog and was reminded that coyotes send out a bait coyote first to draw in a dog before the pack descends on their prey and devours it. That “off-leash dog” I heard was no dog!


The sounds of coyotes joyously celebrating their kills had echoed through the woods on multiple occasions. It was always bone chilling.


I often imagined the coyotes as excited, drunken gang members howling and postulating around a fire, throwing beer bottles into the fire as their sacrifice burned.


This time, WE were what they were celebrating.


Not much scares me, but these sounds were terrifying. I could hear the blood-curdling howls and cackles coming closer. The coyotes had crossed the road and into the hay field and were well on their way towards us. We had only one option that might save us from death.


Gonzo and I plunged into the woods that would, hopefully, lead us to the meadow behind the cabin. If we ran fast enough through the obstacles, we might make it home before they caught us.


What if the coyotes did catch up with us? Without a single weapon on me, what were my options? My plan, should they attack, I decided, was to punch as many of them in the nose as possible. I figured if it supposedly works for sharks, it would be better than doing nothing. At least, I had some plan in mind.


As we ran tripping and falling through the woods, branches began holding on to me. “I liked that sweater.” I thought.


Felled trees clung to Gonzo’s leash and tore at my clothes. “I liked those pants.” I thought. I began to wonder if the woods were trying to help the coyotes? At the same time, I was praying, “Jesus, please don’t let us be torn to pieces.”


Gonzo’s blue light was still barely illuminating the way. In the moment, I hated that blue coyote beacon but decided to leave it on until we crossed the ditch. Tumbling face first into the water would not have helped our cause and I needed to be able to see a little bit to keep that from happening.


The whooping and hollering was getting closer as we approached the ditch and my blood was running colder. No time to look for a good place to cross. I had to cross without hesitation. Fortunately, the water was only shin deep. “I liked these shoes.” I thought, as the water filled up my ankle boots.


Gonzo and I crossed the ditch and tripped and sloshed up the embankment. I quickly turned off his collar light just as soon as I could. The coyotes were close behind us and I could hear them celebrating that they had located where Gonzo and I had entered the woods.


Gonzo and I continued to run to safety. As we reached the meadow, I soon realized there were no more howls. No screeches. No barks. No celebration.


The last I had heard of the would-be-killers’ cacophony was at the edge of the woods where we entered…the exact same place where I prayed, “God, please save us!”


He did!


I don’t know what was at the edge of the woods that stopped the coyotes, but something kept them from continuing after us. I’d like to imagine it was a tall angel with a fiery sword standing at the edge of the woods who told the coyotes to go home.


I do know God has angels protecting me. I have felt their wings brush up against me on two occasions. I have felt them hold up my road bike when I unexpectedly hit a patch of ice at 25mph. I have a lot to thank them for and it looks like coyote containment is the latest addition to the list.

















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