A new essay on the perils of desert living from program director Tod Goldberg in The Rumpus:
The coyotes are out. Three nights in a row they’ve come. You can hear them approaching. From a distance, they sound like a pack of screaming, laughing, crying children, but the closer they get, the more you realize that, no, children don’t sound like that. Children don’t sound like they’re screaming and laughing and crying while, at the same time, they’re ripping living creatures apart into tiny little pieces. That’s what the coyotes are doing. At night, they move from the open desert on the other side of the golf course I live on to prowl the manicured fairways, to feast on the rabbits and desert mice that cluster in the creosote bushes surrounding the course.
They’re probably nothing to worry about. I remind myself that they are likely more scared of me than I am of them, or at least have reason to be. But every now and then, the local news here in Palm Springs will report on a senior citizen who (inexplicably) was out gardening at three in the morning and was bitten by a coyote, or my HOA will gently remind everyone, via a little bullet pointed note in the newsletter, to make sure our animals are inside at night. Then, a few days later, we’ll overhear a conversation (at the pool, or the gym, or at the mailbox, or maybe my mother-in-law, who lives across the street, will relay the information) that someone’s cat was eaten the week previous, and how something needs to be done about the coyotes and I always think the same thing: They were here first.