Canis Latrans: Coyote in Hospice

by Levi Andrew Noe

read it in the correct order


“When I get out of here,” he huffed, “First thing I’ll do is take a shit under the moon and howl till the stars shake. And ain’t nobody gonna wipe my ass.”

“Mr. LaTrans, Mr. LaTrans, please, just hold still. No one likes getting their ass wiped, but if you can’t do it yourself, someone has to do it for you.”

Meg loved her job, but it was things like this that made her question why. And in questioning this, she would begin to question her own sanity.

The feces was so encrusted that it was like trying to scrape graffiti off brick. But in some ways this work was better than his sponge baths, and his unapologetic erections.

“Ow!” Coyote howled, “When I get out of this body, I am coming straight for those fackin’ prairie dogs. Little rat bastard shit stains! I hate being human! You people are disgusting! Why I ever helped you and brought you fire is a mystery to me. Ungrateful, sorry sacks of skin.”

“Mr. LaTrans,” she gasped, “The more you move, the longer this is going to take.”

Coyote finally settled down and let Meg do her job. It was over in a few moments. Meg snapped off her gloves and threw them in the trash. They both sighed with relief and relaxed, Meg into a chair and Coyote into his bed.

“So what were you saying about prairie dogs?”

She handed him a glass of water. He took the straw and slurped with his mouth open, tried to lap at the water with his tongue.

“I’m gonna kill that fackin’ varmint,” his voice was a vicious growl. “Kill him and his whole goddamn family. Kill his whole clan. Might just wipe out every last little yippin’ bitch on the whole damn planet.”

“Wow, that’s harsh,” Meg was remembering why she loved her job. “Never met anyone who hated them so much. What did prairie dogs ever do to you?”

Coyote’s entire body clenched, his hands in tremors. Meg rose from her seat quickly, ready to deal with a seizure.

“Little bucktooth bitch stole my medicine,” Coyote spoke low, but there was blood on his breath. “Took my medicine, took my breath. Built a cage for me in this body. Made me human, like—like—this. This toothless sack of puss. This…”

Coyote’s anger was decomposing into despair and self-loathing faster than a fallen popsicle on July asphalt.

“Mr. LaTrans,” Meg softened, “Cain. Listen, you’re not a—”

“A rotting pile of meat? Don’t go all soft on me now, girlie. You tell it like it is, that’s why I like ya’. This body’s being torn asunder like a wake of vultures was picking at me. It’s coming fast, and it can’t come any faster.”

Meg tried to hide her face, buried her eyes in charts. It only took a moment for her to regain control, but that was a moment longer than she ever took.

“Well, I just want to make you as comfortable and happy as I can while you’re still with us. Don’t be so quick to run straight towards it. And let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”

“Anything?” Coyote inquired.


Coyote didn’t let her finish.

“Go out now. I need a rabbit. Alive. A raven’s feather. And a prairie dog’s paw. We’ve got the water, and just a pinch of dirt. Oh yea, and then we need a fire.”

“Cain, I—”

“Go, girlie! Now! The eagle’s beak is opening. If I ain’t prepared when I go, that prairie pussy’s gonna take my medicine into the next world!”

Meg had never seen Mr. LaTrans like this, so convicted, so lucid.


Coyote looked at her with ages of trickery and wisdom in his eyes. Meg let out a gasp. She saw it. She knew.

“You gotta do this. One last thing for me. You’re the only one who can save me. Please.”

He fell faint, wheezing, gasping.

“Mr. LaTrans,” Meg put her hand on him. He did not respond.

“Cain…” She touched his face.

Meg’s heart beat and throbbed like a powwow. She stood up, stumbled about for keys, shoes, knife. She ran out of the house, leaving the door swinging wide.

Coyote peaked to make sure she was gone.

“Heh, heh,” he chuckled to himself, “I’ll get that rat bastard yet.”

Then he turned his head, his face soured.

“Damn. I shoulda had her write a list.”




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