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Posted August 18, 2011
Mostly Enjoyable (Except For One Thing)
One night I stayed up until 3 am reading the Daily Coyote blog. It was fascinating but left me with more questions about the author and what brought her to Wyoming. So, of course, I was delighted to discover there was a book that filled in some of the blanks. There's much about the book (and blog) that I enjoyed. Stockton paints a portrait of the rugged countryside and her pared-down lifestyle that's pretty appealing. She also clearly has an amazing bond with a wild animal but never forgets Charlie's wildness. Her fierce independence was also inspiring, and, for a brief moment, I contemplated just packing up my life and moving somewhere different. Now, about the things I didn't like. Across the top of the blog is a brief description of how Charlie came into her life: his parents were shot for killing sheep. She makes it seem like it all happened faraway, anonymously. So it's pretty startling to find out in the book that her boyfriend is responsible and for gassing the rest of Charlie's littermates (In a Q&A, Stockton casually mentions that Charlie was one of twelve). Now I know things are different in Wyoming and that coyotes pose a very real threat to sheep. That I can accept, but what I didn't like was how disingenuous it seemed, keeping that from the reader (I'm pretty sure it's never mentioned anywhere in the blog). Also, Charlie's life is completely altered by that one act, and the author never seems to really mourn or contemplate what might have been. He's caught between two worlds, never completely being accepted in either, and that struck me as incredibly sad. Overall, I enjoyed the book and especially appreciated how much the author has willingly sacrificed to make Charlie's life as comfortable as possible. I think that's a good lesson for anyone thinking about taking in a wild animal and trying to raise it as a pet.
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Posted September 9, 2011
Posted June 1, 2011
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