(a short short story)
by Angus Brownfield
Angus Brownfield on Shakespir
Copyright © 2015 by Angus Brownfield
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this Ebook.
Papa Coyote took his son, Little Coyote, on his first hunting trip the night of the harvest moon. Even a human could have found his way in its brilliant light. All the cicadas in the world were serenading the pair, and a few hundred tree frogs added their bass continuo to the song.
“What it that you’re humming?” Little Coyote asked as they loped along.
“Save your breath, son, you’ll soon find out.”
Papa Coyote slowed to a trot when they neared a large mass, bigger than the largest boulder Little Coyote had ever scene. “That’s where the people live,” Papa said, softly.
“It is hollow inside?” asked his son.
“Like a cave, only made of wood.” He resumed humming, a catchy air that made Little Coyote smile to himself.
“What are we hunting?” he asked, adopting the adult’s hushed tone.
“Chicken,” said Papa.
“Are they good to eat?”
“Excellent. Once you’ve eaten chicken, a sage grouse or a road runner will never satisfy you.”
“Will we have to chase them down?” his son asked.
“No, but we’ll have to dig some to get into the place where the people keep them. Be very quiet while I show you.”
They came to a wall of woven stuff such as Little Coyote had never seen. There were holes in it, too small for anything bigger than a mouse or a sparrow to squeeze through. Now he understood why his father had to dig. He heard clucking sounds from inside a mass like the people’s house, only smaller. Papa Coyote studied the fence, trotting around it, followed by his curious son. Stopping, he said, “Look. One of our cousins has dug under this fence before. The farmer did a lazy job of filling the hole. Watch.”
In no time the older coyote had made a hole large enough to crawl through on his belly. “Stay here while I fetch a chicken.”
Nervous, not sure what to expect, Little Coyote waited. He heard some frantic squawks from inside the chicken house, and he heard a dog begin barking near the people’s house. Soon his father appeared with a large white bird, plumper than a sage hen, which he held by it’s lifeless neck. Reunited with his son, he said, “I want you to run right past the people’s house and then cut west. I’ll meet you by the water hole where the frogs live.”
With that the older coyote ran northwest while his son ran almost under the farmer’s window. As he passed it, the window shot up and a female person yelled, “Horace, that damned fox has been in the hen house again. Get your shotgun.”
Of course Little Coyote, amused at being mistaken for a fox, was long gone when the farmer fired off his shotgun.
Papa Coyote was sitting with the dead bird at his feet when his son joined him at the water hole. He was singing, “The fox went out on the town one night, he prayed to the moon to give him light.”
Little Coyote said, “But why should the fox get credit for hunting the chicken?”
“Son,” his father said, “let the fox have the glory, we have the bird.”
A coyote takes his pup on a hunt one moonlit night. They raid a farmer's hen coop and make off with a plump chicken. The farmer's wife blames the fox. (Think Harry Belafonte and Calypso.)