Thank you Chris for the article “Alpha” in your WP blog offerings. I enjoyed your definition using a wolfish description to describe the concept of personality that we as humans display regularly.
I like to call them spirit animals as they seem to embody our own human characteristics with uncanny accuracy. The one that I have always admired; maligned by most and totally ignored by the rest, is the coyote. Known as the Trickster, the coyote is an amazing example of adaptability. They live right under our noses and are for the most part unseen and unheard.
Most take the meaning of “alpha” as a description of an aggressive controlling type of leadership. However to be an “alpha” as in the case of the coyote embodies a wiseness that leads one to believe she doesn’t exist in the first place. Out of sight, out of mind. Coyote is a bit lazy and all that stressful control and aggression does not suit her laidback personality.
If you listen closely in the spring you might hear some muffled puppy yips coming from a concealed bit of ground foliage in the empty property next door, or a strip of high grass somewhere in the neighbourhood.
Rarely if ever, a mother coyote may be noticed in the spring when foraging to feed her growing pups. She might make the mistake of showing herself with someone’s cat in her mouth as she takes a chance making a quick appearance to grab her pup’s lunch in the daylight hours. She is ever clever and wise to the ways of her human neighbors. She knows they are her benefactors and she makes sure she gives them plenty of space.
The Coyote is a nocturnal loner, keeping her own counsel unlike the more family oriented wolf, the coyote only hangs out with others when she raises her pups and shows them the way of the urban wild. Soon after birth they leave the den to find their own solitary hunting grounds which can support no more than one, and can cover many square city or suburban blocks.
Eating just about anything, they are scavengers par excellent but prefer small mammals such as voles, mice, birds and eggs, small dogs and cats, garbage cans and road kill.
Personality wise she is bold in a secretive way, quietly untamed and wild in a domestic world. She is in, but not of, her environment. She will den defiantly under your porch and you’ll never know she’s there. They have multiplied and live across the continents with no borders, prolific in their numbers. They are difficult to outsmart and so man, their only enemy has not been able to exterminate them, but has learned to live in the coyotes environment.
A coyote personality is as adaptable as her namesake. She keeps her own counsel in the midst of many. Patient and but somewhat lazy also like her namesake, she likes to think of herself as “present”, neither living in tomorrow or yesterday. She lives in the now and watches intently from the sidelines, untamable and wild in her domestic surroundings.
So the next time you catch yellow eyes in your midnight yard, or a flash of bushy brown tail disappearing in the dawn it is only coyote returning from her nocturnal hunt, say a little Blessing for her as your silent neighbor, as theres nothing to see here…but don’t let your cat out tonight.