Excerpt from Tales of a Texas Boy
Ma Yote and Her Cubs
Bein’s it was a fine day, I took a walk to the sandstone canyon that runs near our farm. In the summer, it gave up a good stock of lizards and horny toads. I always hoped to find a horny toad, but there be plenty of other interestin’ lizards, too. The schoolhouse has a big book of critters by some scientist. I’ll admit that the man knew his stuff, even if he lived back east. I’d look up what I found in his book so I’d know next time if I spotted the same kind again.
Anyways, the canyon starts out on one end real shallow and gets deeper as it runs west. It ends up runnin’ into a bluff that turns it into a box canyon. Through spring, it had water in the deep end, but by high summer it was all dried out. I’d walk down it from the shallow end, keepin’ my eyes peeled on the walls where the critters lived. This particular day was frustratin’ ‘cause I didn’t see a single thing until I got near the end.
I stopped dead in my tracks. Three of the cutest little coyote cubs you’d hope to meet were rompin’ around near the end of the canyon. I looked every which way for their mama, but didn’t see her. I suspected she might be out lookin’ for dinner.
The cubs looked my way, but didn’t spook. They just looked interested for a bit, then they went back to bitin’ each other’s tails. I had to grin at the squeaky lil’ growls they let out as they played at huntin’.
I sat down partly hid by a big boulder no more’n twenty feet from ‘em just to watch. I commenced to thinkin’ that I might catch one of the cubs and raise him up like a dog. Coyotes looked like dogs, but I’d never heard of anyone who brought one home. I decided I’d try to tame one of the cubs, but I’d wait until their ma weaned them. They’d still be small enough for me to wrangle, but not so big as to be dangerous.
Somethin’ moved atop the canyon wall and caught my eye. Mama Coyote hung her head over the edge and bared her teeth. Even from twenty feet up I could hear the growling. I stood up slow and commenced to backin’ away. She jumped down and I nearly fell on my backside. I don’t know to this day how she done it, but that coyote found footholds to scramble down that rock wall what looked like a lizard might not get a grip.
She hit the bottom lickety-split, so I backed up a mite faster. Not too fast, or I knew she’d come after me. Lucky for me, she weren’t inclined to do that, so I turned around and took off. I kept alookin’ over my shoulder, but she stayed with her cubs, sniffin’ them to make sure they were alright. In that way, she reminded me of my own ma. She can sound mean enough to shake you right outta yer boots, but I know it’s generally for my own good.
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Tales of a Texas Boy is available in Large Print on Amazon. It's also in ebook format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. And if your father has vision issues beyond the help of large print (as my father did), the audio book is available at audible.com.