Thomas Doty – Storyteller

Siskiyou Pass

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Tracking Coyote

Mid-winter sunset at McCormack Slough along the Columbia River. In the last glimmer of purple and orange light, I walk across sand, watching the arrows of geese winging down for the night.

Out of nowhere, like a shadow, a coyote bounds over the sand fifty paces ahead. In the dim light I pick up his tracks and follow that canine trickster, curious to know which flock of fat dinner geese he's headed for. Half an hour: no tracks, no teasing shadow.

I turn to head out, and there he is, fifty paces back, following me with curious elation. I should have known. The best way to track a coyote is to keep looking behind.