The Coffee That Never Was


“Doc, is that coffee on your forehead?” The patient, an older man (read that as still older than me) with spectacles, leaned in closer, squinting his eyes to get a better look.

I touched my forehead unconsciously and winced. Ouch.

He sat back and eyed me suspiciously. “Why do you have coffee on your forehead?”

Yeah, well. About that…

My kids and I had a picnic dinner at the park a few evenings past and then went for a walk down the hike and bike trail.

My son calls it hunting for snakes. He likes snakes.

There were no snakes but we did see a bunny and then caught a grasshopper in a sandwich bag. Fun times.

As twilight started to descend I heard a weird almost dog-like howling not too far off across a field. I didn’t think too much of it, enjoying the sunset and the kiddos. Then the howling got louder and it was clear that there was more than one animal.

Coyotes. In a pack. Seriously?

They were tracking us through the adjacent field.

By the time I realized what was going on we were still about a quarter mile from the safety of the car. I tried to get the kids to “race” back towards the car as a game, not wanting to scare them, but my son kept getting distracted wanting to catch more grasshoppers.

I could hear that those animals were moving fast. I grabbed one kid in each arm and ran like a bat outta hell (admittedly a wild eyed one carrying fifty pounds of kid) back to the car, flung them in, then ran to the driver’s side. In the midst of my trying to scramble in super fast, I slammed my head into the doorframe.

Pain. Searing, blinding pain.

Holding back the profanity (the kids were with me after all), I dug out the bag of ice I had packed for drinks and drove home with that pressed against my temple hoping that I would not develop a huge goose egg over my eye.

Good news is, we were not eaten by coyotes.

Bad news is that the knock on my head still hurts and now the bruise is starting to show up brownish-yellow under my make up.

I summoned up my most convincing sheepish look and grinned at the fellow sitting on my exam table.

“Aw, man! Those kids made me splash again. I can’t believe I missed a spot…”

(The picture above is the actual sunset that evening, in case you were curious.)


31 thoughts on “The Coffee That Never Was

  1. I’ve lived in coyote country as well, I remember clearly the sound they make when they are chasing prey. I suspect that they were in the process of chasing another animal, especially if they were making lots of noise. But the times I’ve heard them doing this is unrattling at a minimum and at best a bit frightening.


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