The Muse

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Charlie

 I don't know why this impacted me so.

 

I've lost pets, and I've grieved over them. However, when I checked in again to www.dailycoyote.net. I was impacted a second time over the loss of Charlie, the coyote. And for Shreve Stockton, who is still grieving. 

 

Charlie was almost fourteen years old, a good age for a coyote, and he lived a happy life on the farm with Shreve, Mike, her partner, a hound dog named Chloe, and Eli, a tomcat. 

 

And I found that Shreve had taken a year off from writing. 

 

I have followed Shreve's site since reading her book, My Daily Coyote in 2009. She was riding a Vespa from San Francisco to New York when she stopped in Wyoming and found a home. She made it to New York but went back to Wyoming, where she fell in love with the land and a man. When her partner brought home an orphaned coyote pup after his mother had been shot for killing sheep, she had a family. That family expanded to another dog, two cats, numerous cows, and chickens. And the one coyote who entered the fray as one of the gang. 

 

Someone wrote that this story wouldn't have a happy ending. They thought the coyote would eat the cat and bite Shreve's face off while she slept, but Charlie cuddled with the cat and dog, and they frolicked and played together. When Charlie was sick, a magpie came to Shreve. As magpies were not familiar in that area, she felt it was Eli, who came to help Charlie transition to the other side, or maybe it was to help Shreve.

 

Over the years, I worried that he might get shot, but he lived to a good age and died of natural causes. The story ended sadly, but his legacy lives on, and his life was happy.

 

Thousands of people fell in love with Charlie. And a ten-day-old, eyes-not-yet open coyote pup became a phenomenon.

 

I thought of how we become embroiled in other people's lives, and although Charlie was a real flesh and blood animal, I only knew of him through Shreve's magic words and photos. She is an excellent photographer and began taking a picture a day of Charlie and sending them to friends who sent them to friends. And with the blog and a nod from Rosie O'Donnell, it got national attention. And I know Charlie and Shreve more intimately than some acquaintances in real life.

 

Fiction can be that way as well, for we know the characters in ways real people will not share. We know their thoughts and feelings. We ache with them, are embarrassed with them, and take joy in their joy. I remember reading that in England, when Jo, a character in the novel Little Women, died, the country went into mourning.

 

 

For a fun read, check out, A Journey into Inner Earth by jewell d on amazon.com

 

 

SCUBA, whales, a school bus, six kids, and a journey to the North Pacific and into a land inside the earth. (A review would be lovely.)

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