It was about a year and a half ago that I experienced a run-in with the local wildlife in the middle of the night that got my blood pumping and my heart racing. I was about due for another jolt.
Last night, we got to experience the country in a new way. Shortly after I got back to sleep from a nighttime feeding, I was startled out of my precious sleep state by howling. It sounded like it was coming from all around the house. I jumped out of bed and shouted at Don, who was right behind me. I was frantically looking out the windows trying to see the coyotes, while Don ran for the rifle. We were so worried that the chickens were now coyote food. Don ran to get his boots and told his dad, who was also now awake, about the coyotes. His dad ran and got the shotgun and out they went into the frigid early morning.
Meanwhile, as they were getting ready to go out, I was still trying to figure out where the coyotes were. As I went into the dining room, I saw a lone coyote trotting across the front lawn and to the tree line, turning at the last moment to run up the road. He was actually very beautiful in the dim light of the moon, across the snow-packed ground.
Anyway, the guys went out the back, Don with his new head lamp on. He had gotten a head lamp for Christmas from my aunt and uncle and it certainly came in handy fast. They first checked on the chickens and all was well. I was looking out the kitchen window at Don when his dad came back in. Oops...we forgot that the shotgun had a trigger lock on it. We had put trigger locks on all the guns in Arizona because of the adoption. The rifle didn't have one since it was new, but the others did. So, we were quickly trying to find the key and get him back out there. They checked out the woods behind the coop and walked up and down the tree line.
We heard the coyotes several more times, each time a little further away. Eventually, the guys came back in and we all went back to sleep. Of course, it was a little hard to get settled back in after that commotion.
This morning, as I drove Don's folks to the airport so they could go visit his sister, we talked about the 2am coyote hunt. Don's dad said he felt like he was back in Little House times, grabbing his shotgun at 2 in the morning to go protect the homestead from coyotes. Sometimes, it seems like not a whole lot has changed since Pa Ingalls' day. Of course, Pa didn't have to search for a key to the gun lock, as required by the state and the social worker. I guess some things have changed.