I often forget, living in the suburbs, that we’re still very close to quite a bit of wildlife. I’m accustomed to walking outside to meet up with an occasional skunk, raccoon or possum. And my dog, Lily, is fond of a good squirrel chase. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the time that she cornered a skunk in the yard. I was certain a stink shower was eminent. But he just stood there, grinning his evil skunk grin, until I slowly inched over, just a few feet from Pepe lePew, to retrieve my terrible terrier. And then he turned and ambled through the fence, as if we’d just shared a relaxed conversation over a few beers.
But it’s days like today, when a coyote pokes his head through our back fence, like he’s checking out the goods at the deli counter, that I remember there are friends out there who want make a snack out of my dog.
Fortunately super-hubby, armed with a rock arsenal, chased the very large coyote away from our fence, as well as our neighbor’s fence, where their two small coyote-bait yappers were sounding the dinner barks. I sent my son next door to warn them that they may want to bring their little coyote treats inside where it’s safe. But my son, armed only with his high school French skills, failed miserably with my neighbor’s sweet little Cuban parents, who were the only ones home at that moment. He did his best, but they thought he’d lost a ball in the backyard, and he couldn’t get them to bring the dogs inside. He was upset that the coyote might come back, and we needed to get the dogs in where it was safe.
I decided that I should go over and see what I could do. I mean, I did have Spanish in high school… how hard could it be? This is where someone points out that high school was 30+ years ago. And the only Spanish I’ve used since then has been, “dos cervesas, por favor,” and “donde esta el baño?” I have my priorities, people.
But nonetheless, armed with my limited español, maybe I could help. It’s got to be like riding a bike… it’ll come back. Right? But super-hubster was done chasing away the big-bad coyote, and he offered to go talk to them. He’d had college Spanish, which apparently trumps high school Spanish. I told him what I was going to say, and he explained that perhaps telling them that I’d like to eat their dogs with a big coyote, was possibly not the most neighborly thing to say. He had a good point.
So he handled it. And the coyote snacks lived to see another day.
Who says my Spanish skills have gone to waste? I can still be a totally gracious guest at a dog roast. Especially if they’re serving beer, and I need to use the bathroom.
• • •
If you vote for me, I’ll send cookies. Probably not to you, but I’ll send them somewhere.