Whitney shared tale of captive coyote

Rocks, Rails and Ranches
By: Gary Day, special to the Placer Herald
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Joel Parker Whitney published this article in the Sportsmen’s Review of Cincinnati in 1904. 

He pasted it into his diary, where Jean Day discovered it earlier this year. Notice the wordy, almost abstruse, style, typical of the time, and how it tempers the brutality. 

“I have a coyote in captivity, which was secured in his infancy by being dug out from his maternal home, and was brought up with a litter of collie dog puppies at the farmhouse, and evinced a most friendly and playful disposition.

“The coyote’s natural shyness was, however, shown in a degree over that of his puppy companions, although he would allow himself to be petted by those who gave him care and food. He was allowed to run about the farmhouse free with his young companions, but indicated a much keener appetite, and became somewhat of a nuisance in the dining room, where he was allowed an occasional privilege. His disposition was very playful, and his gambols and pranks were most amusing.

“As he grew older and larger he ran freely about with the collie dogs, and even rendered aid in driving the sheep with them, and in one notable case, where a large flock were driven some twenty miles to another range, indicated considerable intelligence; but alas for confiding expectations! That very night upon arrival at the destination he signalized himself by visiting a neighboring ranch, and extinguished the life out of sixteen fat turkeys. Not being immediately de-tected as the destroyer, he supplemented his exploit the following night by slaying nearly an additional score.

“This escapade led to his discovery, and his being chained up, as altogether a too expensive sheep-herder, and his ignominious return was illustrated with a collar and chain and a free ride in the sheep wagon.”

Read more about the adventures of Dingo, Joel Parker Whitney’s coyote, in next week’s Herald.