I gently strolled in the evening breeze, hands tucked in my pockets for warmth. The forest beside me rustled with its tangled branched and trees. The green and yellow leaves danced and swayed in the wind, creating a silent show that nature had woven together. A howl pierced the silence, the forest going very still as if listening, too.

The howl had sounded so pained and so helpless and alone that my chest ached and beat in harmony with it. Before I knew it, I found myself walking towards the creature in big strolls. The howl sounded again and again as my chest stung along with it. The forest ended at a long clearing with tall grass and white flowers that swayed gently in the breeze. The sun cast colorful lights as if igniting a fire in the middle of the sky. Laughter rang throughout the clearing, and the howl came once more, louder than ever.

My eyes fell on a fairly large coyote, with gleaming yellow helpless eyes and gritted sharp teeth. It;s grey coat of fur was ruffled and dirty. A crowd of children cornered the poor animal and were beating it with sticks and rocks. My mouth opened and closed several times, struggling to utter a word, and my heart ached and beat in sympathy. Once I could not take anymore, I took a deep breath and screamed:

"Hey! Leave it alone!" The children, startled, glanced my way with panic set in their wide and timid eyes.

"Come on guys. Lets go!" The children dropped their weapons onto the ground with loud thuds and ran into the scattered trees and bushes with the command of a tall, plump raven haired boy. Soon, their laughter and chatter was gone, leaving the forest in a certain hush.

All was still, except for the loud beating of my heart as I began to slowly make my way towards the coyote. It's quiet whimpers were as if a knife was stabbing into my chest several times. When it sensed my presence, fear gathered in it's golden eyes and it limped to it's feet, attempting to be intimidating.

I held up my hands slowly and measured each of my movements carefully as to not stress the poor thing any further. It cowered whimpering, and I reached into my pocket deliberately to clutch my leftover meat sandwich. I gently set it on the hard, dark soil, and stepped back gradually.

The coyote looked confused as it smelled the slightly hardened sandwich. It then gripped the sandwich in it's teeth, glancing at me briefly with those golden eyes before limping towards the trees. It stopped at the edge of the grass, where the soil ended, and 3 smaller forms emerged out of the shadows. I felt a hot tear slip down my cheeks as realization hit me. It was only protecting it's children.

She was a mother.