I trotted down the side of the hill and hit the fence line in short order. Good! Still no smell of coyotes on the wind. Although, to be honest the wind was coming from the South West, so if there were coyotes they would have to be in the south west some place.
The grass was tall along the fence, but since it was a four-strand barbed-wire fence—not an electric fence the tall grasses didn’t really matter.
As for being a beagle and being smaller than the grass was tall, now that was another story.
I trudged on. Just as I was about to head up the bare side of the Cactus Hill I heard something—it was the sound of many, many feet heading up the side of Cactus Hill. I scrunched down in the tall grass and waited. Gradually the sound faded. I parted the tall grass with my nose and peaked to where I had heard the sounds.
Nothing. No one or anything was there.
I followed the line of the hill with my eyes always looking up and up and upper. There going toward the uppest point of Cactus Hill were six coyotes! SIX!!!
I’m sorry to say I wet myself just watching them going up, upper and uppest to the point of Cactus Hill!
OH! MY! HEAVENS! I WANT MOM! I WANT DAD! I WANT OUT OF HERE! I fell to ground, causing the very tall grass to cover me up; hiding my white beagle fur.
I lay there panting…I so wanted to bay and holler for Mom and Dad, but I knew they wouldn’t hear me I was way, way, way over here and they were way, way, way over there—in the house—with the windows shut—and not only that in bed A SLEEP! They would NOT hear me ever!
Gradually I got my courage up, peaked to the top of hill, saw the coyotes—they were arranging themselves in some sort of pattern. First they circled around and around, then one of them would walk to the point of the knob, suddenly one of the others would come up to that one and sort of bark/growl at the one on the point. This kept going on for some time. Realizing they were having some sort of argument I decided I could continue slipping through the tall grass, along the fence line, and head over to the other draw; crawl through the cattails, then make it to the second fire road.
The second fire road was built along the side of Coyote Hill, but that didn’t matter. If I slunk along in the shadows of the hill side I should be able to come up on top then trot over to the farm road by the dirt irrigation ditch. If I can get there I can make it HOME in 30 minutes or I can make back to the hen house in 15 minutes.
I slithered along the fence line…yes I really did…I slithered along, counting myself lucky every time I made it to a fence post. Once I got to the fence post I checked my distance from the snarling pack outlined on the point of the hill.
Gradually they started to grow smaller and smaller. It was about that time I realized I had reached the second FIRE ROAD!
I made a dash to the bottom of the fire road and lay panting alongside a big old rabbit brush. I was wore out!
I lay there, body all stretched out; tongue dripping saliva onto the dirt, when the meanest, baddest, biggest, ugliest coyote broke through the Chico brush heading toward the snarling pack up on the point of Cactus Hill. The meanest, baddest, biggest, ugliest coyote was THORINA! And her HUGE! GIGANTIC! COLOSOUL MATE! My beagle heart was pounding so hard I was sure she could hear it. Thorina is the mate to Thor they are legendary in these parts for killing more chickens, turkeys, cats and a stray dogs than any other lean-limbed, long-haired, scruffy-tailed, yellow eyed, slobbering, hungry-looking coyote around.