Friday, March 23, 2007

Night Wild

I heard them last night. I woke up around five in the morning, tired but unable to go back to sleep. And so I wandered in the darkened house, stopping after a bit to stand by the French doors that open onto our deck. The yard was painted faintly with light, although the moon should have long been down. It was very quiet, no whisper even of wind. Then I heard them, a brittle howling that swelled from one voice to two, to three, to many. For a moment the night took on a texture of sound, the wild language of coyotes raised in meanings I could not translate. Then the dogs erupted into barking all over the neighborhood. The coyotes fell silent; the dogs raged on. Civilization versus savagery. Civilization always lags behind, always follows, only to find when it arrives that the savage has melted away. As if it had never been.
* * *

Special thanks to Lana for updating my webpage for me. You rock.

8 comments:

Erik Donald France said...

Spooky.

Coyotes have infiltrated a golf course in the old wealth suburb of Grosse Pointe, MI, nipping at house pets. Gator got their grannies.

Random afterthought: French doors rock, too.

Kate S said...

Interesting. I wonder what they were talking about?

I saw this article on the language of prairie dogs recently - thought it was neat.

Prairie Dog Language

Lana said...

You're very welcome, hon. Glad to help, always. Feel free to wake me for coyotes (or any other, neato critters/events.) ;)

JR's Thumbprints said...

I often think civilization & savagery are one in the same. I've observed normal, well-behaved men do as they're told, yet I've also heard of evil things they had done.

Steve Malley said...

Beautiful use of the language. You do such a great job of setting a scene!

Lucas Pederson said...

Ahhhh, children of the night...what music they make....
We've got cyotes everywhere here. Damn things never shut up at night! And yes, the dogs in town take up right after. IT's spooky, but at the same time I wonder about what you mentioned earlier. Modernization is sor tof spooky in itself, wouldn't you say?

Sheila said...

Interesting. Very interesting. Hope that you have a great weekend!

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

hey, Charles. When I leave the plant at 6 AM there are coyotes in the woods behind the place. They live in the bottoms near the Cal Sag Channel. The backdrop of my workplace could easily be the setting for COLD IN THE LIGHT 2.