Lissa wasn’t sure what to do about the coyote, but she knew it had to go; not only for Charlie’s sake, but also for the sake of the chickens they would be adding to the homestead. Getting rid of the one wouldn’t necessarily fix the problem though…another one would just take its place.
She wondered if Pudgy, Pipsqueak and Gomer had ever had a run in with a coyote. She headed out to the garage to find out.
The three mice came out from the little box house Lissa had provided. Gomer yawned so Lissa knew she had woken them from their nap. They always napped after lunch…which they always ate too much of.
“Yes?” said Pudgy, stifling a yawn.
“We have a coyote on the property,” Lissa started, “And I was wondering if you had ever run into one in your…travels.”
The three mice looked at each other, fear in their eyes. Pudgy was the first to speak.
“A c-c-coyote? Oh dear.”
Gomer ran back into the box house and dove under a blanket, shaking.
“Well, I guess that answers my question,” she said. “Any ideas on how to get rid of them?”
Gomer and Pipsqueak looked at each other, remembering their run-in with the coyote at their last home. Chills ran down Pipsqueak’s spine as he recalled the high-pitched yowls, yips and yelps. And the howling…oh how the howling had struck fear in his poor little heart.
“Y-yes, we have…experienced their kind before,” Pudgy began. Then he launched into the story.
“Several months ago, while we were living on a farm, sheep were attacked by coyotes. They were so persistent. They watched the sheep for more than half a day before they finally went in for the kill.”
Lissa shook her head in frustration. “Great.”
“The family bought a sound system and tried to get rid of them by playing the sounds of a cougar–sometimes known to kill coyotes,” Pudgy said, “But the smart coyotes soon realized that it was a recording and resumed their attack, this time they got the chickens.”
“What did they do next?”
“We don’t know,” said Pipsqueak. “We hightailed it out of there once the cougar sounds stopped working.”
“You see, we weren’t entirely sure that they didn’t eat mice,” said Pudgy.
“Maybe,” began Lissa, “the owners found another way…maybe you could–”
“Now wait just a minute,” interrupted Pudgy. “You aren’t thinking that we will go and find out are you? We can’t go back there!”
Lissa looked at them for a long time. “You owe me,” she finally said.
“We do not owe you!” shouted Pipsqueak. “We already got the hawk to agree to protect the grapes and other plants from chickadees.”
“Yes, but the only reason I have not set traps out for you is because you are sometimes helpful. I provide you with shelter and meals…I suppose I could just stop cooking for you…let you scrounge for yourselves…”
Pudgy and Pipsqueak looked at each other and sighed.
“Fine,” they said. “We will see what we can do, but after this…we’re even, ok?”
“Ok,” replied Lissa, a triumphant look in her eyes.
To be continued…