Coyotes and chickens are feeling the heat in Vinings
by Dick Yarbrough
Columnist
February 02, 2013 12:17 AM | 1878 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dick Yarbrough
Dick Yarbrough
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I got a call from Jill, my mule friend who along with her brother, Jack, was kicked out of Cobb County a couple of years ago. I thought it might be bad news about Jack. Since being exiled to Montana or Canada — I get those two places mixed up — Jack has hit the fermented oats pretty hard and Jill worries about him.

Jack did not take kindly to being banished from the county because a bunch of politicians that had welcomed them with open arms suddenly got cold feet when they found it would cost $3 million to tear down some outhouses on the farm where they were to perform (the mules, not the politicians.)

But that was not the purpose of her call. Jill wanted me to talk to her coyote and chicken friends who she says are being unfairly targeted by the locals in Vinings. Before I could say “no,” she had had a coyote on the line.

The coyote — we will call him Wally to protect his identity — said he was surprised and saddened at the reaction of residents in Vinings to coyotes. The local homeowners association has announced it is hiring a trapper to rid the area of them. Wally said coyotes have gotten an unfair reputation. In fact, he believes coyotes should be considered heroes.

I asked Wally why that was. He said coyotes eat cats. Score one for Wally’s side. A recent study from the University of Georgia reveals that cats are bigger killers than coyotes could ever hope to be. Cats kill an average of two creatures a week. One observer said that by extrapolating the results of the study, cats are likely to kill more than four billion animals a year. That includes at least 500 million birds. Wally says coyotes don’t bother birds.

Wally said coyotes also eat little yappy bug-eyed dogs that bark incessantly. Score another one for Wally. Wally says all coyotes are asked to read Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” and understand that evolution weeds out the weakest of the species. That is why they just eat little yappy bug-eyed dogs that bark incessantly and don’t mess around with German shepherds, who would clean their clock.

I told Wally about a group called Coyote Coexistence in Atlanta. They believe trapped coyotes are not relocated, as many have been led to believe. They are killed and some are skinned for their pelts. Coyote Coexistence says successful alternative coyote management programs are being used in places like New York and San Francisco. Wally was relieved to hear the news but didn’t seem to be aware that there were coyotes in New York and San Francisco. Frankly, I wasn’t, either.

Wally said he and his friends were going to hang tight until they see how things work out in Vinings. In appreciation for my taking the time to talk with him, Wally said if I saw any cats stalking birds in my backyard to give him a call and he would take care of the problem. I hope the neighborhood cats are reading this.

Jill next had me talk to a group of chickens. Because I had minored in political science at UGA, they assumed I knew a lot about the U.S. Constitution. I can’t say I am an expert on the subject but compared to chickens, I suspect I know more than they do.

It was hard to hear them because they were all cackling at once, as chickens tend to do. What I could discern was that they believe they have a constitutional right to live wherever they choose and can’t understand why people in Vinings — yes, them again — object to their presence. They reminded me that they occupied farms in the area long before the rich folks moved in and gentrified the place. They want some action out of the Cobb Commission.

I told them I believe the commission has a number of more pressing issues than the constitutional right of free assembly by a bunch of chickens. Besides, if the commission treated Jack and Jill the way they did, why does anyone think it would give chickens a break?

Jill got back on the line to say my talk had been very helpful. As a result, Wally has decided to join Coyotes Coexistence and maybe even bag a few trappers for the fun of it. She wasn’t sure what the chickens were going to do but said folks in Vinings might want to check the soles of their shoes before they go inside. Chickens can be very petty when they are upset. With that, she had to hang up. Jack was braying incoherently in the background.

I’m not sure I helped all that much, but it was an interesting conversation.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.
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