I remember the silence. Only the breeze could be heard whistling over the hill and through the trees and the sun barely gazed over the horizon. It was that part of the morning when everything looked like a silhouette against a dim purple backdrop. I sat against a tree, hidden from the world looking down toward the creek.
My heart started to beat more heavily as I heard footsteps behind me. This was too small to be a deer and bigger than a rodent. I had to concentrate to control my breathing. Patience.
The footsteps got louder, though I imagine thy only seemed to get louder because the creature was coming closer, and my heartbeat faster. The creature stood behind me breathing. I could feel its breath and I could hear him lick his chops. He jumped over my leg and pranced toward the creek below me. There was just one.
The coyote is a simple creature: a creature of instinct. Eat, sleep, play! That is its mantra if it could have one. Alone it was a scavenger, striving to find an easy meal and settling for meat that has been in the heat for hours. That is what I left for him down there, anyway, or at least the appearance of an easy meal. I’ve seen three take down a deer and eat it fresh. Even in the world away from civilized humanity, teamwork afforded greater rewards than competition.
This coyote was alone. He was smelling the ground I baited giving me a perfect opportunity. Trying not to make any noise, I moved my head so I could see down my sights, breathed out and squeezed.
The creature fell over. Not even a whimper came out of this one. Patience. My first inclination is always to get up. Self-control. Ten more minutes passed and another set of footsteps could be heard. Another animal entered my line of sight and cautiously, hesitantly walked to the other. I squeezed once more and there were two. Perhaps being on the same team didn’t always mean strictly working together, but supporting one another: not competing as to disable a fellow, but instead watching their back.
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few.” – Matthew 9:37
“The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.” -Mark 12:31
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