“Hi Dad, it’s me. I called you this morning to remind you about your doctor appointment —"
“I went to my doctor appointment this morning.”
“Right, I figured that out. Hey, I wanted to tell you —"
“And then I went to the Berry Patch and had breakfast.”
“I visited with Bob Sexton and Henrik Feenstra and a new guy, a guy named Gene who moved here from Stockton about 14 years ago.”
“He was VERY interesting.”
“I’m glad. Listen, the reason I’m calling is that this morning when I was watering the lawn I looked up and there was a huge coyote crossing the road right by our house, and —"
“Which way was he going?”
“EAST. But I scared —"
“Did you scare him off?”
“Yes. But I want you to know that he wasn’t really scared of me —”
“Which way did he go?”
“Well, he headed south, then trotted across the road in broad daylight right by your driveway, then ducked under your fence and cut across the pasture. I was afraid he was heading for your chickens, so I followed him and shooed him off.”
“He can’t get into the pen.”
“He did before.”
“He can’t jump that fence.”
“Dad, it’s only four feet high. Coyotes can get over cyclone fences.”
“Well, then why does it happen only every two or three years?”
“I guess he’s getting enough to eat. He was very healthy and beautiful. And HUGE. He must be getting enough ground squirrels and rabbits, I guess.”
“I don’t see ground squirrels anymore, and I haven’t seen a rabbit in years.”
“I scare up rabbits fairly often at night when I’m driving home, Dad.”
“Well, I don’t see any.”
“So, okay, I must be making it up. The coyotes aren’t eating any ground squirrels or rabbits, which is why I’m calling to warn you. He’s looking for other food. Keep an eye out because this one is very bold.”
“I have two brand new calves out there, but I don’t suppose he’s interested in them. Anyway, I don’t think he lives around here. I never see coyotes.”
“Dad, I hear them out hunting on your side of the road almost every night! You keep your windows closed, so you can’t hear.”
Plus, you’re deaf, so . . .
“Well, I’ll watch for him, but I don’t think it’s a problem. You coming over tonight?”
“Yes, just Caroline and me. Camille has an away game and Chas is working.”
“Where is the game?”
“Oh, that’s too far. If I were you I wouldn’t let her go.”
“Why? She gets straight As and she likes volleyball.”
“Well, it’s inconvenient. You interrupt dinner to have to go get her.”
“Mom did it for us.”
“She did? I don’t remember that.”
“Yes, she did. Sports and band and dances and club activities.”
“Well, I don’t remember any dinners at 8:00. You coming over tonight? You don’t have to. I can feed myself.”
“Yes, Dad, I’m coming over. See you tonight."