The Tale of El Guapo

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Part 4

The Coyote Dinner Invitation

Someone once said that it’s good to learn something new everyday. On this particular day I learned that I love apple-pie.

I had been outside most of the day, tied to the family’s favorite fencepost. They had left me plenty of water, but hadn’t bothered to leave any food. The apple-pie no longer filled my belly, and all I was thinking about was eating.

I watched as the sun went down. Soon it is dark all around.

I like the night. There are coyotes in the far-off distance, and some nights I can hear them howling at the moon. They howl a lot more as the morning sun creeps up.

Sometimes I howl with them. This makes the little girl laugh, but her mom and dad always shush me. They would rather hear the coyotes alone.

Tonight is different. Tonight the coyotes come to visit El Guapo. First I can smell them; then I can hear them; finally I can see them lurking in the darkness.

“Hey little doggy,” the pack-leader calls out to me, “we have come to visit you.”

Finally—new friends!

“Hello! I am called El Guapo. Will you be my friends?”

“Yes, little doggy, we will be your friends,” he called back to me.

“Then come here. Come and visit El Guapo. We will play.”

“Yes little doggy. We will play tag, and you will be it. You will be the first one to be chased. But you must come out here to us, because we are coyotes, and coyotes are afraid of the light that shines in spite of the night.”

“El Guapo is not afraid of the light of the night, or the dark shadows. El Guapo is very brave, and also very hungry,” I reply to the coyotes.

“Food, little doggy. It is time for dogs and coyotes to feed. Won’t you come and join us, little doggy? We want to have you here—for supper.”

“Yes, yes!” I cry out, “but I’m fastened to this fencepost and I can’t get loose! I can’t join you; I can’t run or play because of this rope. Won’t you come here to me?”

I heard the coyotes laugh at that.

“Yes, little doggy,” the coyote leader called back to me, “we will brave the light and come to you. And then we’ll all dine.”

Finally! I was so overjoyed, I could hardly contain my glee.

But suddenly the girl’s father burst out of the house in a temper.

“Dog! What is all that yapping about?” he bellowed. “Uh-huh, I thought so—coyotes.”

That night I learned about a new game. It’s called catch-the-bullets. He makes a very loud noise (like I love to hear) and throws bullets at you. If you catch the bullet, then you’re out for the rest of the game. If you don’t catch the bullet, then you get to chase it, for a long, long way.

The little girl’s father played with the coyotes, but ignored me completely.

I kept yelling at him, “Over here! Over here! El Guapo wants to play! Toss one to me!”

But he never did. He must have still been mad at me because of the apple-pie incident.

Soon the little girl rushed out, grabbed me up, held me tight, and gushed over me about what a brave, fearless dog I was because I faced down those evil coyotes. She spoke of how smart I was to warn the family of the coyotes’ appearance.

I was excited too. I was still hoping for my chance to play catch-the-bullets. I never got to.

I was finally carried in for the night. I ate my fill of dry dog food, and passed the rest of the night calling out to the coyotes to come back and play some more.

They never did. Cowards. Afraid of a little light.

—El Guapo (rabid by choice)
(via ghost writer)

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