The morning light cuts through the trees on the dew-wet grass. The pine boughs are dripping, the ground is stirring: the jerky motion of squirrels digging, leaving scraps.
Dawn sees it first: it looks like a dog coming down the road with something in its mouth, but then she names it, Coyote. It has something white and black in its grip. It ducks beneath the trees, disappears into the neighbor’s. Maybe a baby raccoon, a rabbit. Whatever it was, it sure put a spring in its stride.
I warm up the car, put on a CD. Got half an hour at the store before I need to be back, before Dawn leaves.
The sun is higher now, and clouds are swelling around it: a dramatic moment in a film. I think of the picture of the woman who died, try to match her face with the memory of her waiting on me in her store in West Seattle, many years ago. The coyote shoots in front of my car, skips onto the sidewalk, exposed now, running.
I slow the car, check the rearview mirror, put on the hazards, inch up behind the animal, pull out my cell phone, unlock it, raise the camera, but then it’s gone.