Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A Coyote Story

I realize it's been forever since I've posted, so I thought maybe I'd tell you a little story about my day.

Not My Photo, just a good shot of a howling coyote

CatMan & I went for a bike ride this afternoon. We rode south on the Platte River Trail, and about a mile or two before we reached Chatfield State Park, we heard a strange noise. We stopped and saw that a small pack of coyotes had gathered on a little rise about 100 feet off the path. They were howling and yapping up a storm. So we were standing there marveling at them and wondering what they were reacting to, when we heard the sirens, and a fire truck and several ambulances pulled over at the side of the nearby highway.
I was a bit confused because I didn't see an accident or anything, and then a man came sprinting up the path from the south yelling and waving his arms. The emergency folks jumped out, cut the wire fence and proceeded off in the direction that the man had come from. I rode over to him as he stood doubled over trying to catch his breath. He proceeded to tell me that a woman had collapsed and had no heart beat. He had called 911, and a cyclist had stopped and was performing CPR. I rode slowly beside him as he gasped for air and recounted the tale while we made our way to the scene. He said he hadn't run so fast since he was in college.
It always amazes me how people react in situations like that. Total strangers come together in ways they would never have imagined just a few moments before - instantly bonded by the gravity of the situation and the sudden reminder of our own collective mortality.
We stood there chatting and helplessly looking on as the EMTs performed chest compressions. I'm no expert, but it didn't look good. Then about a half dozen police cruisers arrived on the scene and shooed us up the path. I waved goodbye to my new friend and we proceeded to ride on up to the top of the Chatfield dam - with a newfound appreciation for the natural beauty surrounding us, and gratitude for the crisp air filling our lungs and warm sunshine on our faces.
By the time we turned around and got back to where the incident had taken place, everyone was gone. It somehow struck me as odd that the place should be so quiet and serene, with no indication of the life and death struggle that had played out there just a half hour earlier. It was a bit sobering to realize that I'd probably never even know if the woman made it or not.
As we rode past I glanced at the little hill where the coyotes had gathered. It suddenly occurred to me that perhaps they weren't howling because of the sirens at all. Maybe they were howling for her.

Here's hoping you're all happy and well and enjoying the start of a new decade!


  1. A touching story. Good to see your post. Best wishes for a good year to you also.

  2. Happy New Year! It's so good to see a post from you again. I've missed your stories from Colorado. We have lots of coyotes around our woods. They are shy and mostly keep to themselves, but I love to hear separate groups howling in unison from different directions on certain nights. Hope you post again soon and that everything is going well for you and CatMan - although your hard luck stories make for good reading, too.

  3. What a nice story about appreciating life. I'm guessing that there was hope for her if everything was quiet when you got back. If someone has already died, there is no hurry and they usually stay around for an investigation.

    So glad to hear from you again. I wonder sometimes about your cats and your DIY house and yard projects. Check in again sometime. We miss you.

  4. Hi Cat, I'm happy to hear from you! I've been checking in once in a while to see if there was a new post. I always enjoy reading about your life and projects.

    Best wishes to you and Catman for the coming year!

  5. an amazing story. Yes, people do amazing things when under stress. And I believe the coyotes were calling to her. Animals can sense things far beyond our ken.


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