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He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, courtesy of goodreads.com

I have recently returned from a sojourn at my favorite inn, romping with other visitors while Woman and Man were away.  I was pleasantly exhausted, and spent a quiet day with Woman following my trip.  I helped her try to rescue the pachysandra plants with water and Miracle Grow.  She was grateful for my support.  It’s been said that I have quite the green paw.  I’ve always felt a deep connection to the earth and growing things.  Even in my meditative exhausted state, I felt a thrill of energy in sympathy with the new life of Spring bursting forth from the tired ground.

Over the past few weeks, I have been enjoying all of the wonders that nature has to offer and have been partaking in several of my favorite sports as well.  I feel certain that I will be recruited in the fall.  Mr. Bailey helped me practice.  He might get picked in the second round.

I did find signs of the coyotes in the yard.  Mr. Bailey mentioned to me, becoming serious, that he’d smelled the signs of them as well.  Neither of us had seen Edgar in a few weeks.  Mr. Bailey let me know that he’d left word with the chickens that he’d be gone; he was investigating some rumors further inland.

Woman and Man told me how much they missed me while they were away.  They can be funny sometimes, but I am fond of them.

On one another of my many visits to Mr. Bailey’s property, Mr. Bailey stood in a patch of low-bush blueberries yet to bloom and got a faraway look in his eyes.

“You know, Humphrey,” he said.  “I have a theory about the coyotes.  I haven’t told it to Edgar yet, but I’d like to tell you.  I think they’re trying to experience our lives. I think they know we’ve got it pretty good, here, and they want to do what we do.”

“And what is that?” I asked him, not understanding.

“They want to be pets,” he said.  “They want to be cuddled and loved and fed from a bowl.  They want toys, blankets, and soft human voices.”

I considered Mr. Bailey’s words.  Was it possible?  Could that be what they wanted?  We knew that one coyote at least had played football.  We knew that this pack was concentrating its activities where the humans were.  No coyotes had ever sought something like this before, though.

“I don’t know,” I told Mr. Bailey.  “We’ll keep searching for the truth.”

“Of course,” said Mr. Bailey.  “It’s just a theory.”

“It’s more than I have.  It could be a piece of the puzzle.  What has led you to that conclusion?”

Mr. Bailey paused, pensive.  “I have spent some time examining the photographs that have been captured by the motion-activated camera that Woman’s father set up.  The coyotes seem to trace our steps.  Right after you or I have gone somewhere, done something, it seems like the coyotes do it too.  They trace our steps as if they were following the steps in a dance.  They play our parts, they–”

Before we could continue our conversation, Man and Woman interrupted.  They took advantage of the warm weather (so they said) to give me an outdoor bath.

Later, back at home, I couldn’t get Mr. Bailey’s words out of my head.  I felt nervous and had no idea what to do with my excess energy.  I played with my fox toy…

Feeling more tranquil, I curled up to sleep.  All will reveal itself in time…  Hopefully, Man and Woman will buy me a new stuffed animal…

Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence.  There’s no better rule.

-Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, courtesy of goodreads.com

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