Coyotes: Beware little Chickens

According to Backyard Chickens, here is a list of common chicken predators: Raccoons, Hawks, Foxes, Mountain Lions, Fisher Cats, Skunks, Mites and Coyotes.  

We have over half that list wandering through our yard and neighborhood regularly...watch out chickens (and small humans...)

We were driving home from school pick-ups today when I found myself contemplating the meaning of face painting and why the instructions would possibly say not to use the red, yellow and purple near the eyes or the blue and green near the mouth, or something like that... (Isn't that like giving someone a bar of soap and telling them not to use it under the arms or anywhere else you might find lymph nodes?) Aidan interrupted my thoughts:

"Mom, is God his dad?" he asks. 
"Whose dad?" I ask back.
"Is God, his own dad," he says. 
"Oh, you mean is God, God's dad?" 
"Yeah, is he his own dad? I mean, if he is everyone's father then he would be his own dad right?"  he asks. 

And here I was thinking about face paints....

But, like most parents of very-young-and-still-willing-to-speak-to-us children, we are used to these questions around here. Just a few days back, Madeline had asked a very long series of Coyote questions, most likely springing from the fact that when she wouldn't get in the car that morning, I had told her she needed to get out of the bushes and to the car right away.  

"Why?" she asked stubbornly.
"Because if you don't, the big coyote dad saw this morning might come eat you!" I had hollered back in one of my prouder parenting moments. She immediately got in the car. But about an hour later, the questions came spewing forth:

"Can a coyote swallow a bee?" she asked. (Yes)
"How about a mouse?" (Yes)
"Can a coyote swallow you?" she asked curiously. 
"No, I would be too big for it to swallow," I said.
"What about a mommy mouse?" she asked. (Yup)
"Can a coyote swallow AIDAN?" she really needed to know.
"No, it could bite Aidan but I don't think it could swallow Aidan whole," I explained.
"Oh, THEN he would need some band-aids," she said. "Poor Aidan."

But even at three, Madeline can ask some pretty hard-to-answer questions, like the ones she asked on the way to get Aidan from school.

"Mom, does God die?"
"No," I said, foolishly hoping that would be enough.
"Why not?"
"Because....because God is an always living spirit," I said, fumbling for the right words. 
"Are we always living spirits?" she asked.
"Well, kind of. Our spirits are but our bodies will die one day," I answered.
"Oh, that's sad not to have a body," she lamented. "Does Aidan have a body?"
"Yes," I said. 
"Where is it?" she asked.
"At school," I said as I watched her eyes widen in the rearview mirror.
"He keeps his body at school?!" she exclaimed.
"Only when he is at school," I explained.
"Well, can God get swallowed?"  
I was about to answer her when she continued:
"...by a coyote?"

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