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    Friday, August 19, 2022

    The dangers of threatening an Italian mother's family

    This is an age-old tale. A tale about man (or in this case, a woman (and not any woman but a mother (and not any mother but an Italian mother))) versus nature. You see, when you threaten an Italian mother’s family, Inferno hath no Fury by comparison.

    And so my tale begins that I was midway in my life’s journey when I found myself in a dark wood. It was after sunset and I was walking around Beebe Pond in Groton with my trusty dog, Bosco (whose name, curiously enough, means “the woods”). Having the woods to ourselves, I unleashed my big dog to chase squirrels. At one point, he chased a large animal — actually three large animals. I shined my flashlight into the red eyes of a coyote and we sized eachother up. My light and my dog scared the three coyotes away.

    Or so I thought.

    When Bosco and I got home, I no sooner finished telling my wife, Carla, about the coyotes than my daughter’s little dog, Piccolina (though her names means “little one” in Italian, she is by far the bravest of dogs) started barking and fiercely went into the night of our yard where the three coyotes must have followed me home. They stared at us as we gathered her, unharmed.

    But the following night, Picco’ scooted outside when we were grilling. Her fierce barking soon turned to yelps, and pandemonium ensued. Bosco entered the melee to help his sister, but the coyotes tore at our Piccolina, undeterred. Then Carla arrived. Only when the ravenous coyotes saw one pissed-off Italian woman did they realize they better scram; they dropped Piccolina and fled.

    Picco’ had to have emergency thoracic and abdominal surgery, but I’m happy to say Picco’ lived and is back to being her cute self. But all is not back to normal. Because my sweet, peace-loving wife wants blood — coyote blood. She bought night vision binoculars on Amazon. She acquired a BB gun.

    And so one balmy evening at dusk, I was working in my outside woodshed with the door open and I see, out of the corner of my eye, what looked like a Navy Seal or Army Ranger stalking stealthily through the back yard, carrying a weapon. I did a double take; it wasn’t your typical commando, but rather a shapely, feminine one with the unmistakeable figure of my wife. She was in cammo, had night vision glasses, and was armed — with a BB gun. I thought she was kidding as she hunkered in the corner of our lawn, at the edge of the woods, and I turned, laughing, to finish my woodworking project before dinner. Half hour later, I closed my woodshed door and noticed that the house lights were all dark. I walked to where Carla was still hunkered down.

    “You wanna eat dinner?” I asked.

    “Shh!” She said, definitely annoyed that I had blown her cover. “If I can just sting ‘em with a BB. they’ll know not to mess with us.”

    The coyotes, smart animals, knew not to return, and we haven’t seen them since.

    The nature of coyotes is to hunt and kill. The nature of mothers is to protect their young. I guess this isn’t really a story about “man (or woman) versus nature.” Rather, it is a story about Nature.

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