Harry and the Coyote

The coyote – its fur matted, drool trickling from its mouth – crept forward from the gully’s tall grass toward the unattended toddler in the sandbox. Harry leaned back in his new lawn chair, sipped his beer and watched the scene unfold.


He glanced disdainfully at the child – she was named Katie or Kaitlyn or something like that – as she used a green plastic shovel to throw sand and dirt randomly from the box, which sat in the unfenced backyard. Harry saw her mother grab a cell phone and enter the house some minutes before, leaving the girl alone. Her hair was long and matted, and she wore only a diaper.


The coyote skulked closer, camouflaging himself in the shade of an old maple that stood at the back of the yard. Harvey yawned and scratched his stomach through a white sleeveless t-shirt. He looked towards the neighbor’s backdoor. No movement.


He turned his attention back to the coyote, which had made his way to within twenty feet of the child, and was crouched, preparing to lunge. Harvey took another look at the neighbor’s back door – still no movement – and sighed. He stood and walked towards the animal, waving his arm and yelling.


“Back off! Git!” The beast stopped and looked up in time to dodge the beer bottle thrown at him. “Git outta here!” As Harry approached nearer, the coyote turned and slowly trotted away.


The mother came out to investigate the noise, cell phone at her ear. She made it onto her porch just in time to see the coyote disappear into the gully. The phone dropped to the ground; her hands covering her mouth as she gasped.


Harry turned away from the coyote and caught the woman’s eye. “It’s about time you got out here. Start watching your goddam kid!” She stared quietly, mouth still open as he stomped back towards his own yard. He opened his screen door, and before going in, turned back towards the woman, who had finally ran over and picked up her child.


“And you owe me a friggin’ beer!” He walked inside, slamming the door behind him.

Author Notes

14 Comments for “Harry and the Coyote”


Well, thank goodness Harry saved the toddler, but he doesn’t seem like a nice guy at all, and the mother isn’t much better by not watching her child. Very interesting flash story here, Dave.


Thanks, Michaela! This was a rough draft – I think I’m going to flesh it out, make it more obvious that he’s actually considering leaving the coyote alone to get the girl. No, he’s not a nice person.

Tim Hillebrant


Hey Dave!

Okay, I have to know, is there a story or something that inspired this? LOL- I loved it.
You called the behavior of the coyote perfectly, and I had a clear image of the mother, Harry, and the child as the story played out.

No nits, but loved the read!



Thanks, Tim I read up on coyotes a bit before I wrote it. Not form a real incident, but I’ve heard of cases where coyotes have attacked toddlers and dragged them off.

I was sorely tempted to let the coyote win, but it would have taken a lot more skill than I have right now to pull it off.


Dang! I’m not sure what to think of the characters in this piece, Dave. The guy seems like an angry dude. He sat there watching the coyote for a long enough time. He did, eventually save the toddler from the coyote, but his words to the mom are very harsh, indeed. Is she a neglectful mom, or he just a miserable old cuss with anger issues? LOL. Either way, it made me stop and think, and my brow pointed up as I whispered, “Wha????” after reading it! Hahahahhahahahaha. Good one, Dave.

Write On!

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