February in Massachusetts is peak coyote breeding season. I know, because I can hear it, and it sounds like a lot of fun. There’s a gajillion of them out in our fields, whooping it up and driving our dog crazy, even though she’s neutered. Coyote energy is wild and loud.

Even though the noise is really freaky, it’s pretty cool to hear the presence of creatures, since there really doesn’t seem to be much going on around here in Winter. I’m sure everything’s still here, biding their time just like we are, but if you’re looking for any meaningful contact with animals in the wild the pickings are kind of slim.

Coyotes are wild and scrappy, and usually look a little rough around the edges when you do get a look at them. They’re not beautiful, they’re not perfect, and they’re not majestic — but they will steal your chickens, lure your dog into the woods, and probably nick your wallet while they’re at it. 

I’ve always been fond of Coyote. There are many stories of trickster coyote, who frequently gets the better of others but sometimes tanks catastrophically, a la Wile E. But this is perfect; yes, his energy is often about laughing at other people, but he does know how to laugh at himself and not take things too seriously. 

Coyote reminds me that often we learn best through play, or by indirect measures. Learning anything is easier precisely if you can laugh and have a good time instead of being horribly self conscious. We can all use a heck of a lot more of that. And, frankly, there’s a part of me that just loves doing stuff like hiding under my kids’ desks and grabbing their ankles, or getting into other minor mischief. A good laugh can clear the energy of a room quicker than just about anything else. 

So what if you ride the rocket off the cliff and the bird gets the best of you? Just brush yourself off and try again. And who knows — maybe you’ll get that darned roadrunner one of these days!