Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Gruesome Find

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Eventually, all the clues began to make sense. Not a day goes by that Delilah doesn’t find something outside our windows that drives her into a barking frenzy. Nine times out of ten, it is beyond me to identify what has triggered her reaction. If it’s squirrels, they are long gone by the time I arrive. If it is gunshots or thunder, she hears it long before I am able.

Yesterday, Delilah began to go nuts with the barking. Attempts to distract and calm her seemed futile. Minutes later, Elysa and Anne stepped in the door announcing their arrival for a visit. Was Delilah barking at them? I was willing to believe it.

As the afternoon wore on, we headed outside to spend some time with the horses. We found them uncharacteristically jumpy. I tried several times to brush the remaining snow off their backs, but not one of them stood still long enough for me to finish. The wind was gusting a bit, so we thought maybe that was making them uneasy. It gave us an excuse to move on toward the pasture to toss discs for Delilah to chase.

Out in the open, the wind was cold enough to drive us onward so we headed for the trail in the woods. I had already traveled this trail earlier in the day with Delilah when we did our usual morning patrol after feeding the horses. We had enough snow overnight to just cover the ground, so it was easy to spot recent tracks along the trail. There were very few at that earlier hour.

As the four of us walked along with Delilah, it was easy to spot something laying on the trail up ahead. My first thought was that the wind had knocked down a tree branch, but what my eye was seeing looked larger than a typical fallen branch.

Yep. Not a branch.

It was the largest limb from a carcass that I had ever come upon. My guess: it was the leg of a cow and coyotes were likely to blame. Why one or more of them had dropped this leg in the middle of our trail is a mystery to me. Of course, it was a prize beyond Delilah’s wildest dream. It was too much for her to carry, so I picked up the frozen leg and carried it for her.

She didn’t know what to do. Walk in front of me? Walk behind me? Jump up and bite it while I walked? We made our way back to the house where I left it on the ground for her to gnaw on. She instantly morphed into one of the pack.

DSCN2793eBased on the size of this limb, I’m expecting to see the local coyote hunters busy at work around here in the near future. Farmers aren’t very patient when their livestock are being culled by predators. For those with sensitivities about such images, I am including this shot as a thumbnail to give readers an option of viewing it or not. Click per your personal tolerance for the gruesome, but natural, cycle of life involving wild carnivorous animals.












Written by johnwhays

February 2, 2015 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

Tagged with , , ,

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