L’article qui suit a paru dans le Journal de Chambly récemment
English version below..
In Memory of Coyote
By: Gloria Grow
We thought of him as the Fauna coyote. He visited everyday. He was young and slender, content to eat the fruits and vegetables we put out for our animals. Coyote never did anyone harm. No one was ever attacked. No one was ever killed, except one day. A Fauna employee was out running at lunch and saw him. He was curled up under a tree. Taking a closer look led to the reason why he would be there in mid day and not stir. He had a snare around his neck. It had cut into his flesh, exposing muscle and bone. The wire had been gnawed free of whatever had grounded it in place -- its frayed end testament to Coyote’s powerful jaws and even more powerful will to survive. He had given up after who knows how long a struggle. He curled up under the tree and let go of life. Fauna’s surrounding Natural Reserve is 200 acres of land to protect Quebec’s native wildlife and flowers. Still we weren’t able to protect Coyote from the wanton desire of someone who wanted to kill him -- with no concern that his method would bring Coyote pain and fear and long suffering before death released him.
When I saw Coyote, I saw someone no different than so many wonderful dogs I have had in my life. I recognized from his compelling similarity to them that Coyote’s only crime was that he did not belong to somebody, that ownership had not domesticated him to be at the command of a human. As I touched him, without any collar or tags to prove his ownership, I knew I was touching an ancient ancestor to the many dogs I have shared my life with. I knew I was looking at someone who would have grown and learned more each day about his own survival – like where he could find berries to eat at certain times of the year or how the rabbits could escape him by fleeing under a building. I saw in this being called Coyote the wild and free and devastating beauty of the natural world...a world that Fauna and everyone should be prepared to prize, protect and preserve.
Because of his need to survive, Coyote was judged by someone who failed to appreciate Coyote’s role in the natural cycle. That someone set out to destroy him. The question remains: why? Was it because his pelt would bring a small amount money? Because his death would make his killer feel powerful? Or was it because of the misguided notion that the only way to be with nature is to destroy all parts of it that don’t serve humans? I will never understand.
We won’t get to see Coyote out there any more and we all grieve this. Even while we are surrounded by nearly a hundred rescued animals for whom we care, we will still feel the sting of his loss. Unlike the rescued residents of Fauna who are forced to live a life of captivity, we all felt assured by Coyote’s presence -- assured that while we tended to those whose freedom had been lost, Coyote was there…free and wild and living in harmony with his natural world. Until, that is, that one day when someone for some reason decided to kill him.