and the Special Party
This is a story about a coyote named Bill. For those of you who are not from around these parts, let me introduce you to Coyote Bill. First and foremost you need to know that Bill is a Coyote. A coyote is a dog like animal that lives in the hot deserts of the southwest. Bill lives with his desert friends Raul the Quail, Anna the Javelena and many other colorful characters.
One fine spring morning Coyote Bill and his friends were sitting on the bank of a dry riverbed called a “wash”. They were playing a favorite game called stones. Bill would throw a special colored rock into the wash and everyone would try and toss their stones close to Bills colored stone. They played stones by the hour when the weather was nice.
It was a grand morning. There were big fluffy clouds that looked like huge white animals dancing across the sky. There was a light breeze blowing from the West. All was good.
Mike the mouse was bored with playing stones and announced to the group “Lets have a party”.
Coyote Bill joined in; “Great idea Mike the Mouse, lets think about whose birthday is coming up.”
“Well not mine,” whined Trudy the Rabbit. You must know that Trudy is a sourpuss type of rabbit, and is never happy about anything. "My birthday was two months ago and we did not have a party for me!” Trudy gripped.
“Now Trudy, that is not fair. You were away when it was your Birthday. You would not have wanted us to have a party without you.” Said Coyote Bill.
“My birthday is in a month,” suggested Raul the Quail. “That is a little to far off for a party for me.”
Anna the Javelena did a little Javelana dance and said as she spun around, “whose birthday, whose birthday, whose birthday is a few days away?”
Everyone liked Anna and laughed at her silly song and dance.
Just then, Kate the Hawk flew into the wash. Kate is a young girl hawk who is somewhat shy. Kind of like many human girls.
‘When is my birthday?” She asked of the group. “I don't remember ever having a birthday party”.
The group became silent. Coyote Bill hopped off the bank and stood in front of Kate. “Kate, Let me tell you about an adventure we all took a couple years back”.
Everyone circled around Coyote Bill and Kate the Hawk as Bill told his story.
“It was two years ago last fall. Raul the quail, Anna the Javelena, Liz the dove and I took a special trip. We heard that the snow had started to fall in the Black Mountains up north. It was still hot here in the desert and we wanted to take a trip to the cool northern mountains.
Raul knew the way. We started out from this very spot and walked for days until we reached the foothills of the mountains.
The trail started getting steeper. Up and up we climbed. The view was spectacular! We could see for over 100 miles to the south. The air smelled clean from the pine trees. The ground was cool from the snow that had just melted. The mountains above were black, with white strips from where the snow laid still. It was a magical place.
We were looking for a spot to stop for lunch when we came across Grace the Hawk. Grace was not in very good shape. She had broken her wing and could not fly."
“Where are you desert animals heading?” Grace the Hawk asked.
“Up to the mountains to see the snow” replied Raul.
Anna looked at Graces broken wing, then at the small baby hawk next to her and asked “Are you able to hunt for food with a broken wing?”
“It is very difficult,” answered Grace the Hawk. “It is hard to find enough food for myself and my new baby without being able to fly".
Anna who is very kind shared her lunch with Grace. When no one was looking Grace tucked a way a piece of sandwich to give to her child.
Just then Grace started to cry. “What is wrong?” asked Coyote Bill.
"I, I just can’t find enough food with my broken wing to feed my baby and myself. I don’t know what will happen to her.” Grace the hawk said in a low voice.
“Let me look at your wing,” suggested Raul the Quail. Raul is very smart and knows about things like broken wings.
Raul slowly looked at the wing then gently told Grace “Your wing has healed in a bent way. You are fine, but won’t ever be able to fly again. I am sorry.”
Everyone was silent for a moment then Grace the Hawk said to the group “Will you take my baby. I can find enough food for myself, but not for the both of us. I love her so much and can’t stand the thought of her not eating. If I don’t eat, I can’t take care of her. If I eat, there is not enough food for her.”
“With my broken wing, I can’t even show her how to fly,” added Grace
“If you take care of her you will be doing us both the most special favor,” Grace said to the group after looking each one in the eye.
Liz the dove came forward “I can show her how to fly and I have space in my nest for her.”
Raul the Quail joined in, “I can show her how to hunt for food”.
Coyote Bill said loudly, “That settles it. This young baby hawk will live with us. We will take care of her as if she was our own. You can stop worrying about her not having enough to eat!"
Grace felt good knowing that her baby would be in good hands. Grace also knew this was the only way she could take care of herself.
Kate looked up at Coyote Bill and asked in a puzzled way, “Coyote Bill, I thought this was a story about my birthday. I don’t understand?”
Bill got a big Coyote smile on his face and he put his paw on her shoulder. “Kate, whose nest do you live in?”
“You know Coyote Bill, with my mother Liz the dove.”
“And just who taught you to hunt?” asked Coyote Bill.
“Well let me think......it was Raul the Quail,” answered Kate.
Bill slowly said, “Kate, you are the baby in the story.”
Kate looked at her mother Liz the Quail.
Liz said, “It’s true, Kate. I took you in that day in the mountains. I have been your mother ever since.”
Kate got real quiet and said, “You mean you gave me your nest and fed me everyday just because you knew I did not have enough to eat?”
“Well not exactly,” answered Liz the Dove. “I did it because I love you and wanted to see you safe and happy.”
Coyote Bill stood up on his hind legs and announced in a loud voice, “Lets have a special day for Kate the Hawk. Instead of a birthday let’s give her a special day of her own. We will call it got-you day. This will celebrate the day we got you in our lives."
“Great,” Anna the Javelena. “I will make a big cake.”
Raul was next. “I will gather stories of all the funny things you did when you were little.”
Rattler Rick joined in, “I will decorate the Palo Verde trees with streamers.”
“It's set then,” announced Coyote Bill. Every year we will celebrate Kate the Hawk got-you day.”
As everyone scurried around putting the party together Kate felt important. No one else had their own special got-you day.
Then she though of all the work her mother Liz the Dove did to feed and care for her. She then thought of how much Grace the Hawk in the mountains must have loved her to make sure she was warm and fed. Kate then realized she was loved in a special way, not only from those around her, but also from afar.