Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Who'd have guessed? (Wednesday Vignette)

Last Thursday, our newspapers came up missing.  My husband usually picks them up from our driveway before he starts his morning walk.  He was much later than usual in getting started that morning but, thinking the paper delivery person may also have been late, he took off.  While he was out he noticed that several of our neighbors had papers in their driveways so, when he returned home, he did a thorough search of the bushes to see if he could find ours.  He didn't and, assuming that the delivery person had simply missed us or that someone had walked off with them, we called in for replacements, which were promptly delivered.  My husband asked if I could imagine that anyone in the neighborhood could have walked off with them and I shrugged and said it was just one of the two only plausible possibilities.  We'd had papers "walk away" on numerous occasions at our former house but our present neighborhood is both less densely populated and more off the beaten track, so theft seemed unlikely.  I sat down to my breakfast with the Los Angeles Times, while my husband took off with his Wall Street Journal, and I promptly dismissed the whole question.  But, my husband, being curious, decided to check our security cameras.  He quickly returned, urging me to come view the camera footage with the statement "you're never going to guess what happened."

The paper WAS delivered.  I've circled it sitting at the bottom of our driveway.

A mere minute or 2 later, a visitor strolls by and immediately checks out the paper, which was wrapped in a red plastic cover due to rain

Yes, that's Mr. Coyote carrying off the paper

It looked as though he was headed down the moss-covered dirt path just inside the hedge that borders the street

But he apparently clambered up the stepping stones that lead up to the main level of the front garden.  You can see him just to the left of the date stamp at the top of the screenshot.

And another camera picked him up here rounding the bend into the garden on the south side

At least he paid no attention to Pipig's screened porch on the right, although she was probably in the house yelling at me to dish out her breakfast at that point

He retained a good hold on that paper as he trotted along

This was the last good view we had of him

Although a fourth camera picked up his movements along another dirt path in the back garden (roughly above the "01" in 2018 above), I couldn't get any decent screenshots from this view.  However, I did find the missing papers another 20 feet or so beyond this point, where I suspect he abandoned them to dart through the hedge and down the slope into the canyon in search of other prey.


For the record, I did guess correctly in response to my husband's question but my response was in jest and I was incredulous when I saw the video, depicted here in selected screenshots from four separate cameras.  I still can't fathom why the coyote chose to pick up the paper, much less carry it through the garden for two or more minutes.  Maybe he was annoyed that I'd cleaned up the deposit he'd left in the driveway the morning before to mark our house as his territory.  Or maybe he was irritated that I'd discouraged bunny visits to my garden by caging the plants they've been grazing on.  Maybe he has an interest in what's happening in the stock market.  Who knows!!!

For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

28 comments:

  1. The most well-read coyote in RPV!

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    1. I don't know - maybe he was just looking for the comics! (WSJ doesn't have comics, does it?)

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  2. OMG, I'm still laughing! I'm picturing a character from some C.S. Lewis novel, sitting in his den with his slippers and pipe reading the paper, calling to his wife, "You won't believe what those humans are up to!"

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    1. Right on point, Alison! I can't read the paper these days without wondering if all of us are crazy.

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  3. Omg - I had NO IDEA coyotes can read!!! What a great post - thank you for the laugh, Kris! :D

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  4. That is so curious. Maybe the delivery person had some delicious Taco Bell grease on his hands as he tossed the paper! Or maybe it is just a toy to him. All you need to do is train it to bring it to your door. ;)

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    1. I really don't want him getting any closer to the house, Eliza. He came disturbingly close to Pipig's porch as it was. I'm glad I asked my husband to reinforce the porch's structure a couple of years ago.

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    2. Would he actually break into the porch? I would think Pipig would be out of there in a flash and under your bed!

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    3. I haven't heard of coyotes tearing through screening material to get enter houses or the like but I didn't want to take any chances so we backed the lower portion all around with wood just in case...

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  5. An erudite coyote! Whatever next.

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    1. Well, I suppose the bunny who's been making himself at home in my garden could start pulling weeds!

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  6. Hilarious!!!!!!!! Thanks for the giggle.

    Coyote had to go to the bathroom again and needed some reading material. I mean, obviously. Bet he was happy it was the Times and not the WSJ.

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    1. Both papers are delivered together so it's hard to guess his tastes, HB! Maybe he's concerned with tech company stocks.

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  7. Ha! That’s pretty fabulous. So what would have happened if your husband had walked up as Mr C was taking off with the paper? Would he have gone after him?

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    1. My husband probably would have whooped and hollered, performing the "hazing" recommended by local authorities. Coyotes have a reputation for being tenacious, though, so if Mr. Coyote thought he had a prize, he might have just run off with the papers. At least we'd have had a trail to follow to find them. In the future, if the papers go missing, we'll check our cameras before calling for replacements.

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  8. For goodness sakes. I am surprised he took your papers. I have seen videos of them playing with toys left out in a garden. Maybe this one is more intelligent and just wanted to read what the papers had to say.

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    1. Maybe! There's a strong anti-coyote sentiment developing in the community so maybe he wanted to get the scoop.

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  9. P.S. Your garden looks so pretty in these shots.

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    1. Thanks Lisa! Early mornings after a rain are the most magical here.

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  10. Who knew? Do you suppose the red plastic attracted him? He probably set the paper down to find his glasses and then forgot where he put the paper. That happens to me all the time. Thanks for the morning giggle.

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    1. Ha! Your question about the red bag had me checking into the color vision of dogs and coyotes, Peter. Like my husband, dogs seems to be red/green color-blind and coyote vision apparently gears even further toward blue tones. Maybe Mr. Coyote thought he'd found a dead rat or squirrel in a raincoat!

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  11. Well I never Kris - I hope that aforesaid paper was to his/her liking :)

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    1. Well, Anna, he eventually dropped the package so maybe not!

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  12. Well you did well to guess even if only joking - amazing! Thanks for sharing a smile!

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    1. I wonder if he'll go after our mail next, Christina!

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  13. Apparently, your current neighborhood has a higher class of literate coyotes. :-)

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    1. Well, Jean, it looked as though he just took a peek at the papers after tearing the plastic wrapping before dropping them. But then maybe he didn't like the headlines. I feel like doing that quite often myself...

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