To Die in Fear

They were quiet awhile. The grinding of the iron wheels started up out on the meadow again. Then Old Dog said, “One thing on my mind is I don’t want to be surprised again.” Four or five coyotes over on the swayle yip-yipped agreement. They were all thinking about the bulldozers. Old Dog said he didn’t want to be around when the beast came up the hill. “I don’t want to die in fear.” It was a quiet, raw statement and one of them howled like bad times was suddenly a tree hitting on his head. It was a reaction in them all, they all caught the feeling their memories gave them.

"I don't care about fear once I've seen it,” he said, then grinned with his old whiskers spreading apart. He looked in Coyote's eyes. “It's before that, when it owns you.”

The grinding of the wheels was like a bunch of squealing pigs and raging bears. Old Dog leaned close. “You do all the wrong things.”