Kirkegaard Speak

"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself."

Soren Kirkegaard

The Goat Eater: Part Two

In September, I shared the story of The Goat Killer. This morning I can finish the story. The coyote continued to make his presence known and was joined by either a very large bob cat or more likely a young mountain lion. It is our calving season and we have baby calves born every day. Last week we found one that had his tail chewed off.

The calf was in a bit of shock and the cow was some distance away in distress over all this. I can only assume this occurred in the night a day before and the mama cow and other cows came in and drove off the attacker. There were a lot of maggots in the cuts and it was a mess. After talking to the vet, we took the calf where we have water and used a high pressure spray to clean out the maggots. We then drenched the wound and tail stub in iodine (we keep a large bottle all the time), then we packed off the wound in Wonder Dust. She is up and going now. The wound is healing very slowly and we treat it daily. We still have to be sure infection does not spread into the met around the tail stub.

It was time to get serious about our predator problem. It was our luck we had cabin guests that were from San Angelo. His occupation was predator control for the State of Texas and he knew what we should be doing; setting snares in the holes under the fences. He told us what to buy and how to set them. I figured the coyote lived on the ranch in the woods since I had only seen hair on ground barb wire on cross fences. We also had a wash out you could drive a big heifer through in a spring creek bed under an exterior fence, but when we repaired it and closed the gap a few weeks ago I did not see any animal tracks.

Just up from there we did find a hole under a fence and hair. It was at this point and 8 others we set snares. After two days we had luck. Yesterday Javier came in from checking cows and calves early and tossed a very large coyote on the ground. If you held it up, it was longer than he was tall and was pretty heavy. The coyote had hit the snare, got caught by "his" neck and strangled. I know it sounds bad, but imagine him running and catching our goats and then sitting on them and eating them still half alive.

The story of our quest for a predator free ranch at Rocky Branch may not be over, but for one goat eater the trail has come to an end.

The coyote is well known in American culture. American Indians had many stories about them. Everyone knows about Road Runners and a Coyote in cartoons and there was even a broadway play about one.

We generally associate the howl of the coyote at night out in the woods or out west in the wide open spaces. We hear them often from our porch in the evening, especially on cool fall and winter nights. I often wonder if they howl because they are lonely. Paul Kern has written a poem the coyote's song.

When the Coyote Calls Down Moonlit Dreams
by Paul Kern

Sleep comes fast along the trail, Twilight, moonlight and a coyotes wail, Echoes along the canyon wall, It's a haunting cry and a lonesome call.

Calling tonight through the cold and clear, To the distant past or some future year. My eyes grow heavy; I nod off to sleep, On a saddle blanket in the canyon deep.

When the coyote calls down moonlit dreams, To a boy still bursting at the seams, Asleep in the canyon 'till the morning dew, Dreams like this always come true.

Evening cool raised a gentle breeze, As the horses pawed the roots of the trees, Of the picket line standing tall and true, The years to come came into view.

You came to me though you never knew, We walked a while as warm breezes blew, A seaside, a riverside, a far off place, I saw your smile, long hair and face.

As sunrise kissed the morning dew, I knew that some day I would find you, And each to the other would belong. It was all right there in the coyote's song.

We found each other and have lived the dream, That came beside a mountain stream. Asleep in the canyon 'till the morning dew, Dreams like this always come true.

Some Things Exceed Your Expectations

We were headed to Dallas yesterday to the Friend's of the Dallas Farmer's Market Hoedown. This is its annual fund raiser supporting the market. Since we are a farm producer, giving this year blackberries to an innovative chef who prepared a delicious cobbler, we had a presentation table to share the story of our farm and try to interest folks in visiting. We wanted to take the laptop and have a nice slide show to make it more interesting. Being technically challenged, I had a terrible time using our new cd/dvd burner to get the photo files copied. Then I discovered my cd drive did not work. It was getting too much for me.

I called Apple and told the nice young lady 28,000 miles away my problem. She said it was not a big deal. Since we were going to be in Dallas the next day she set up an appointment at the Apple store in North Park at 1:00 PM. I was to go to the Genius Bar. I arrived a bit early and one of the 25 or so young Apple employees really reaching out to every person that entered the store quickly sent me to one special person in the middle other store. He had a lap top in his arms and said, welcome Sid. I was amazed, he knew my name.

Long story short, at the appointed time, to the minute, a technician appeared, took my computer, and reappeared a few minutes later and it worked. No hassle,no leaving it behind, just plain old good service with a smile. I was impressed.

Apple has a reputation of having leading edge technology. They also have leading edge customer service. Now I can say I have seen a genius.