I've been living here for several decades and it was my first close encounter of this kind. But what was it? I was riding my bicycle in West Brattleboro, past the cemetary where headstones are splayed on both sides of a dirt road. An animal darted in front of me, something dead, just killed, in its jaw. The prey, a hedgehog, I guess. The predator, what was it? At first I thought it was a German Shepard. A big one. It had a reddish coloring. Then almost immediately I second guessed that. There was no collar, there was something feral.
Whatever it was dropped its catch because they must have been startled. We almost collided. Then he/she stood and watched over the scene. Checking me out, assessing whether to go back for their meal. I should have gotten a picture, but I was frozen. The moment gave me a shudder. Not because it seemed an omen, the shiver was a pure blast of excitement. After about thirty seconds, canis jogged away. I wanted to know, was it a coyote? Was it a wolf? It looked like a wolf.
I stayed around hoping to get a second look. After a minute or two the crows showed up. The coywolf, or whatever it was, slipped beyond the graves into deeper woods. I went home to do some research. How pointed were the ears, how sharp the snout? I could not say for sure. It felt like a wolf, but the consenus of authorities says there are no wolves living around here. I've heard many a coyote outside our windows at night, but never had a sighting. This time I got a face to face encounter. But with whom? I'd like to know.