High: 55° F
Low: 41° F
Conditions: Persistent drizzle
It was, as usual, Ari who first found the object. Resting as it was on the driveway to the abandoned camp across the street, I almost confused it for a woman’s wig: the cheap kind you might find in a girl’s dress-up trunk, discarded by a great aunt years earlier. Except, of course, that these coarse curls were attached to a very long tail.
What was it? Stretching three feet long, it exceeded the length of any wild appendage we knew of. And with that singularly moppish tassel, it certainly didn’t resemble the hind end of the usual suspects in our neighborhood: not the moose or bears, the bobcats or foxes. Not even the rumored mountain lions thought to be roaming, perhaps half feral, through Central Maine.
Maybe then, it wasn’t so wild after all.
I speculated cow, if for no other reason than—even in this degraded state—it sparked images of pastoral bovinity. Our friend Carissa, a vet, confirmed the identification.
But that still left other questions. Like how did this tail lose track of its body? And how did it migrate the two miles from the nearest dairy farm.
Carissa thinks it was probably Ari’s friend, the coyote, who did the transporting. As for how it lost track of its body, she say that’s anyone’s guess. Maybe a farmer docked tails, thinking it would make for easier milking. Maybe it was all that was left from a dead cow. Maybe something else entirely.
Ari may know more than she’s letting on, but she’s not willing to say a word. Not about species or detachment. And certainly not how it came to settle on a disused gravel drive. Is it a pact held by canines? A smugness caused by the glee of knowingness? A lack of interest in causality? Or do the details, like so much else about canine naturalism, not matter nearly as much as the unexpected result?
Only Ari can say for sure.