I had just put on my left turn signal to enter the school parking lot Wednesday morning when a critter ran across the road in front of me. A critter I had not seen before. Bigger than a fox. Smaller than a normal dog. It was gray, kind of two-toned, and doggish looking.
The critter looked at me as he trotted across. Then sat down with his feathered tail on the gravel walking path put in by the school board for pupils a few years back after a kid not smart enough to step off the roadway got clocked by the side mirror of an SUV. Don't go hatin' on Mrs. Hillbilly Mom for being blunt. I had the kid in my class. Not a baby young 'un who didn't know better. We're a HIGH SCHOOL, by cracky. Teenagers should know that they cannot win a game of chicken with a car. Especially on the car's own turf, with oncoming traffic and the newly risen sun as competition. He only got a bruised shoulder, and spun a tale that he was walking on the dirt path where that coyote sat his butt, and the driver VEERED AT HIM ON PURPOSE, went through a ditch and across 20 feet of ground, and HIT HIM ON PURPOSE. Yeah. No charges were filed. I didn't even have to testify that I had passed him further down the hill, before he even got to the crest, walking on the edge when there was room beside the road.
Anyhoo...where were we? Oh...then it dawned on me. That critter was a coyote!
The Pony and I were so shocked that we did not even try to get a picture. I forgot about my encounter as the day progressed. Mrs. HM is too busy with test reviews to talk of local fauna during the workday.
As we left school on Friday, I observed some younger kids hanging around the end of Newmentia's front drive. They were no doubt from next door at the new Basementia building. New Basementia does not dismiss their kids to walk onto our parking lot and wait for a ride. I'm sure some parents instruct their progeny to do just that, because the pick-up line is much shorter on our campus. But it's against the rules. I already told Mr. Prin about it earlier this year, and he said he was going to check into it. But now here two kids were again. The boy I'd seen before, and a girl.
"They're not supposed to wait there, Pony. I'm going to have to tell on them again. Mr. Prin probably doesn't know. Wait. Watch them as I pull out. Maybe they are just on their way to the walking trail."
"Nope. He's sitting down on the edge of our sidewalk around the building."
"They're not supposed to leave New Basementia and walk across here anyway. The buses go there. WAIT A MINUTE! What if they were going to walk to town on the path, and that coyote attacked them? That boy looks pretty tender. Like Augustus Gloop. I wonder if I should have told somebody about the coyote. You know. Just in case it might attack a kid. Not that they do. But if it had rabies, it might act crazy. Great. Now I'm worried I should have told."
"I told. I told Ms. Poor. She said she's never seen one over here before."
"Well, if somebody gets eaten, I'm going to act like I didn't know. 'Oh? Really? Who did we lose? That's too bad. Who would have thought a coyote would be hanging around that path?' Yeah. That's what I'll do. Those kids weren't supposed to be there anyway. I'm not taking the fall! Don't rat me out!"
That's my story. And I'm stickin' to it.
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a short-timer, you know.