My backyard slopes down to a creek nestled on a quiet cul-de-sac. It screams outdoor living. It’s paradise, at least I think it is. Apparently, so did something else.
Our yard hosts all kinds of wildlife. We’ve got ducks, geckos, frogs, turtles, raccoons, possums, and we even eagles. And, there’s a ton of squirrels, my dogs just love to chase the squirrels. Sometimes they get one. Unlike The Trophy Husband’s hunting exploits, I don’t judge. I just clean up afterward.
That summer day, was remarkable for another reason. I was on the cusp of actually finishing a remodeling project. We were updating a bathroom upstairs. After three weeks of ripping out old wood and mud-hung walls, I was this, I tell you, this…close to a veritable old world spa that Coco Chanel would’ve envied. I know everything in Texas is new, but I go to great pains to add patina.
Enter Juan, our family’s handyman. Originally from Mexico, Juan is my trusty sidekick. He and I were headed out to the car later that afternoon. After a day’s work, he was dusty and exhausted. I was in Martha Stewart mode., pre-conviction. That night, I planned hot glue some stuff on some other stuff and faux finish anything I could get my hands on.
I unlocked my car with the remote, and caught a glimpse of something out of my peripheral vision. I wasn’t sure what it was.
It could have been a stray dog, or a coyote, but it was really strange looking. Juan, saw it, too, and frantically tugged the door handle of my car. He leapt with undue haste into the front seat and locked the doors. I stood momentarily, captivated by the creature. Besides, I was locked out.
This, whatever it is, must be the very same, whatever it was, The Trophy Husband spotted earlier in the day. I moved in for a closer look.
The animal lay panting under a canopy of shade trees. I tip-toed maybe 100 feet before it saw me. This creature, hairless, with an unusual snout, turned and faced me.
It wasn’t a dog. It wasn’t a coyote. Coyotes spook. Unless you’re a tabby cat, out for a little recreation, or an errant teacup poodle, a coyote isn’t a threat. It stood, lowered its head, and stepped toward me.
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Amanda Tackett is a Dallas native, and lives in suburban purgatory with her Trophy Husband and 12 year old daughter. She’s been writing for years: grocery lists, checks, and the occasional thank you note. www.amandatackett.com