That’s why the people who knew coyotes best, the Native Americans of the plains, foothills and high deserts, made Coyote the most frequent hero of their stories. Coyote -–this is the preferred Western pronunciation, my first 3-syllable –coyote identified me, correctly, as an Eastern migrant… Coyote survives, often against great odds.
These days coyotes survive in virtually every state, every climate, every environment from the wilderness to the ranchlands, villages, towns, suburbs and big cities of America. From Fort Myers to Flagstaff, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine, to Portsmouth, Virginia and Ohio coyotes are the wild predators most likely to be seen or heard.
That’s another thing about coyotes, they don’t mind being seen and heard and up close and personal, which gave the American Indians lots of exposure to cute coyote tricks that became the catalysts for stories. Then as now, coyotes weren’t just surviving, they were around. They had found in humans a useful partner in a survival ecosystem. And it’s not that coyotes are spongers, gorging on human garbage. They’re opportunists, who are glad to prey on the spongers, mice, rats, raccoons, that gorge on our garbage.
Starting to like coyotes a little better?
You have to admit, they are beautiful, slender frames, long fluffed tails, intelligent faces…and every bit as s smart as they look.
But if you think I like coyotes, let me introduce Dan Flores, for nigh onto 40 years a writer, scholar and teacher of The West, author of 10 books, the latest of which is in the bookstores, Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History. Dan is based in the beautiful Galisteo Basin south-east of Santa Fe, NM, and reviewers said of Coyote America: “”terrific,” “fascinating,” “absorbing,” and “brilliant.”
Dan Flores is a writer who lives in the Galisteo Valley outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is A. B. Hammond Professor Emeritus of Western History at the University of Montana-Missoula.
Flores’ latest book, Coyote America, has been widely praised as “terrific,” “fascinating,” “absorbing,” and “brilliant.”