Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, the most wildlife I ever encountered were squirrels, crows, and the neighbor’s sociopathic dog.
Going to college in Central Illinois, the most wildlife I ever encountered were squirrels, cardinals, and drunk college guys.
Living in Clinton, Iowa (with apologies to Iowans, the asscrack of the state) as a newlywed, the most wildlife I ever encountered were squirrels, a variety of farm animals (I was once lucky enough to see two piggies making a third piggie. Nothing like piggie pornography in the early morn), and our upstairs neighbors gettin’ it on in the middle of the night.
I think we may need to start watching the squirrels. They’re everywhere. I suspect they’re plotting to take over the world.
I live in suburbia, but not nearly as urban of a suburbia as my childhood. This is a more rural suburbia. It’s common to pass horseback riders as you drive to the library, or fields of cows as you drive to the store. We have prairie dogs (vermin…hate ’em) and rabbits. And coyotes.
There’s a pack that lives in our subdivision. We hear them every so often, almost always at night. A howl here, a squeak there. Once, several weeks after we moved in and we had our first snowfall, there were coyote tracks on our back porch. Never really bothered me.
Yesterday a nine year old boy was attacked by a coyote, just a few blocks from where I live, in broad daylight. The animal obviously has rabies; coyotes stay in packs, come out at night, and avoid humans. This young boy got bit, has puncture wounds, and now has to undergo a long regimen of rabies shots. Merry Christmas, indeed.
So this afternoon I had to give the whole story to the boys without scaring them, while imparting how important it is that they not play outside by themselves until the Department of Wildlife finds and kills this coyote. J is small enough that he could be easily injured and dragged off by a rabid coyote. A is too, for that matter.
I do not like guns. I’ve never shot one, I do not own one or have any desire to own one, but if I see that rabid SOB in my backyard or the schoolyard, I’m going to wish I had one.