Dead Zone

I’m driving down a dirt road and this is what I see.

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Honestly, the picture doesn’t do it justice.  This clump of dead trees extended for about a half a mile down the road.  I know it is winter, but these trees are DEAD.  When spring time comes, I highly doubt there will be leaves on any of these limbs.

Maybe I’ve watched too many horror movies or read too much fantasy fiction, but I kept imagining a thatched hut nestled somewhere within this cadaverous copse with a horrifying hag lurking inside.  The adventurous side of me wanted to pull over and explore.  In Texas, however, giving in to impulses like that could get a person shot.  So, I settled for a picture instead.

Wordless Warnings

I am going to disregard the title and give a warning made of words.  This post contains a picture of a dead animal.  If you are sensitive to these type of things, you may want to skip this post or, at the very least, scroll past the picture.

 

 

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I came across this earlier this month and forgot to take a picture of it.  I found myself once again in its vicinity, and decided to go ahead and snap a pic.

If you can’t tell, it is a dead coyote hanging from a fence line.  As I am not a country guy, I really don’t know why someone would do this.  I asked a friend who is a bit of a country person, and he said the only reason he could think of was if someone were taking care of a coyote problem for someone else, they might leave it out as proof they were doing the job.

Now I initially wondered if this were the property owner’s way of warning off other coyotes.  I remember thinking, “I’m pretty sure coyotes aren’t smart enough to catch this hint.”  More than likely, they’d see it as a meal, wouldn’t they?

As I am prone to fanciful thinking, I began to imagine that coyotes were, in fact, smart enough to see this as a wordless warning.  In my mind, I began to imagine this epic war between the landowner and the coyotes going on.

“They got Charlie!”

“That’s okay, Chuck.  We’ll show that rancher who is boss!  Rally the troops!”

“Yessir, Charles!  Right on it!”

(Why my imaginary coyotes all have renditions of Charles in their names is largely due to the fact that I like alliterative names, and couldn’t think of anything else on the fly.)

So if you are into writing, this might be a great little story prompt.  Write a story about man vs animal, but from the animals’ perspective.  Alternatively, you could write it from a human perspective, but have the human be the invasive species.

If you are a tabletop RPG kind of person, you could use the above writing prompt to flesh out a scenario.  A nation of civilized races is looking to expand, and have found some of the the intrepid explorers staked out in front a forest (or whatever environment you choose) and the party is tasked with finding out who set the warning and, if possible, eliminating the threat.

By the way, if you happen to know of an alternative reason why someone would hang a dead coyote on a fence line, let me know!