Coming from every direction, the noise formed a great circle around me. My room’s walls morphed from plaster to towering firs and while my gaze wandered to their peaks – seemingly above the stars – the glaring full moon made me forget about where my ceiling went. It was one o’clock in the morning, and the coyotes of hills were out and about. Despite its similarity to little girls screaming, babies being murdered, or tribesmen brutally warring, the eerie howls of the coyotes have always brought me a strange sense of warmth and security.

Their yaps and hoots and howls – cries – constantly leave intrigued and wondering. Are their yelps tales, like the one I tell now, or are they shrieks reminiscent of another world; a past world? The shout of the coyote is a plea for life at its purest. When I lay in the wee hours of the morning, I hear them beg for the time when savages ran the vast forests, the open plains, the gnarly mountains; a time when artificial sweeteners did not contaminate the fleeting taste of life’s cake.

Only as these cries pierce my solitude in the lonely darkness do I remember the fullness, the potential of life. I am instilled by the lost depths of my brain that painfully yearn to express the bestial side of human nature. So I ask, I beg, I plea: next time you find yourself awake at night, listen for yelping coyotes; the lesson in the howls – from whatever your coyote may be – can teach you more about yourself than you ever knew existed.

About gnarlyoak

"Nestled sporadically over great and endless knolls, devoid of life during dry summer months, the oak trees of Los Altos Hills – so numerous around my home – speak to me in an unheard language. Like any person I am the sum of my successes and failures but unlike the masses I have heard the language of the oaks – I found meaning in their forgotten voice." - Song of the Oak
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4 Responses to Coyotes

  1. Tree says:

    I, too, love to lie awake at night and listen to coyotes. I grew up in Wyoming and the coyotes there singers out of the old Westerns, real howling stuff. Then later I lived on the edge of the Ruby Mountain in Wyoming and the coyotes had a whole different rap, more yips and yelps, like a bunch of juvenile delinquents raising Cain on the backroads.

  2. Wonderful. We have coyotes here in Reno (I live near the Truckee so it’s still close to nature) and in winter we go to Palm Desert and they wander around the golf course, driving range. Have to be careful with the dogs. But their howl enchants me. Nice to get to know you.

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