We don’t think of it often enough. Sometimes weeks go by, and then we’ll spot a dead cat in the road or a squirrel splattered under someone’s tires.

It hardly ever occurs to me when I’m shopping at the market. I pick up some chicken or salmon, the wild-caught if they have it. Even then I don’t consider the net, the hook, the knives, the filleting of the fish. It’s wrapped in plastic, for God sakes. My hands stay clean.

About a month ago, though, Nettie and I were taking our morning walk when we heard a woman shrieking, screaming bloody murder. She was running our way, then she tripped off the curb, still screaming and pointing as she hit the ground.

We turned to see a coyote running across the lawn with a small dog…her dog…in its mouth. The coyote was heading right at us. We froze at first, then reacted, chasing after the animal, screaming and yelling just as the lady had done.

I saw it then, plain as day, death in the air, death all around us, waiting to strike, hovering in the background. Quiet but poised.

We chased the coyote as it darted into a driveway, behind a car. We were afraid to go in after it, afraid to get too close. Afraid it might come after us, bringing the prospect of death to our feet.

We yelled some more. Then the coyote, fearing its own death, made a run for it, streaking past us…its mouth now empty. Had it swallowed the dog?

We saw a streak of fur racing from the other side of the drive–the little dog, crazy with fear, running blindly until its owner scooped him up in her arms, her knees bloody from the chase.

The beast was not quite through yet. It circled back, challenging us, threatening us. We stomped our feet, yelled, even growled at it. Forcing this agent of death away.

For the moment at least.

I had forgotten about that incident until this week, Wednesday the 5th, to be precise, when I heard the news from Apple.

Death had targeted Steve Jobs for years. And in the end, we all know it never misses.


2 Responses to Life And Death In The Neighborhood

  1. fz says:

    Very true. Thanks for commenting. fz

  2. Elisa says:

    For a moment, anyway. Death is part of life. Death is always around us, at an arm’s length. And, we all in time, not necessarily of our choosing, will succumbed to it. For even the coyote was running from death, by starvation, or otherwise.

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