The Belligerent Bulldog

By RJ Smiley

While working on my mid-iron game at a driving range with the Rocky Mountains in the background, the last thing I needed was another distraction to break my concentration. With my Dave Pelz’s T-Square aimed directly at the flag 161 yards down range, out of the corner of my left eye, I detected some movement. A coyote, with beautiful grey-brown coat, looking extremely fat and satisfied, casually looped across the driving range about 30 yards in front of the tee lined with hard working golfers. As the coyote moved left to right across the range toward the golf course, each golfer stopped and watched this unusual sight directly out of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. “Did you see that?” one sweaty golfer said to his companion. The old guy standing next to me said, “He comes out everyday about this time and goes to the golf course for dinner.”

With my practice session and concentration completely interrupted, my full attention was now focused on this beautiful creature as he approached the 10 inch tall fescue that separated the driving range from the first fairway. The coyote, acting more like a cat than a dog, worked his way, in a zigzag pattern, up the rough toward the first green. I don’t know if its prey was discovered by the coyote’s keen sight or sensitive smell, but on three different occasions the coyote vaulted straight up in the air landing with his nose and front paws buried deep in the grass in a frantic chase for the terrorized field mouse. A quick gulp and his hunt continued.

When I came out of the hypnotic trance created by the coyote, I realized that my real mission that day was to figure out why I kept hitting my middle irons to the left. As I drove back to our mountain oasis I realized that mother nature created this coyote as a control for the rapidly reproducing field mouse population. Even in nature when picking a home its all about location, location and location.

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