The Coyote

by Baxter Black1

I think I can speak for the coyote

With more understanding than most.

Especially those who defend him

And live on the New Jersey coast.

They raise up a pitiful cry

And claim he’s a mistreated critter.

Who’ll soon be extinct if the ranchers out west

Don’t put down their rifles and quit’er.

But like all of God’s creatures around us

There’s always two sides to the tale.

I think if the coyote were human

That most of ‘em would be in jail.

Cause there’s no doubt he preys on the weaklings

Or the youngsters too little to run

He slits the throats of cute little lambs

And drags little calves from their mom.

So if you must describe him in terms

Such as wily, and clever and keen

You must also include homocidal,

Sadistic, demented and mean.

But I will choose to do neither

And somehow I wish you would too.

For the coyote he has no conscience

He’s just doin’ the best he can do.

You can like and dislike the coyote,

Many ranchers I know do both

When he trespasses he’ll get shot at

But his song in the night brings a toast.

A toast to our neighbor the coyote

Who’ll outlive the earth and the sky.

And be here long after we’ve parted

Like the cockroach, the rat and the fly.

1Copyright 1986 by Baxter Black. Reprinted with permission from Coyote Cowboy Poetry.