Coyote Ears and a Squirrel Tail

Coyote, a.k.a. the Prairie Wolf.

Can I get a moment of silence for the old, avocado green, rotary dial telephone?


My children will grow up never knowing that once upon a time you had to wait for a circular dial to complete its rotation before your call went through – and long distance numbers took forever to dial! They will assume all phones come sized to fit the palm of your hand and complete with games and personalized ringtones.




I’m not actually posting about my parent’s old avocado green phone. I’ll save that trip down memory lane for another time.


No, tonight I’m remembering the family photo placed next to the avocado green rotary phone for the majority of my childhood.  It was from the school Halloween carnival, circa 1982.


My parents were dressed as fishers, I was wearing a blue tu-tu and tiara as a princess and my older sister was a brown squirrel.


I’m thinking of this photo because tonight our friend admitted he dressed up as Tim the Tool Man for Halloween one year and it reminded me of that picture, and how very badly I wanted to grow big enough to fit into my sister’s squirrel costume.


There was something that gave that squirrel costume a little extra pizzaz.


It wasn’t the drawn-in brown whiskers or the mustard yellow fringe on the top of the brown satin hood.


Nope, my favorite parts of that costume were the tail and ears.


They were real, you see.


“A real tail and ears?” you ask. “How can this be?”


Well, real squirrel ears aren’t sized proportionally for a 10-year-old child to wear on their Halloween costume with flair. My mother, the maker of all Halloween costumes, was facing a dilemma: what would she do for the ears and tail of the squirrel?


Her answer? Coyote hide.


My dad shot a coyote a bit before and tanned the hide. (Don’t feel sorry for the coyote. It deserved its untimely end, as it was eating our rabbits. We don’t put up with that kind of behavior around these parts.)


My mom made her request. My dad chopped the tail and ears off the hide. She sewed it onto the hood and backside of the brown satin squirrel costume.


And my sister and I both wore it out in public. Because nothing says classy like wearing the tail of a scavenger animal on your behind.


A real coyote tail. In public.


I believe this story explains a bit of why I am the way I am. It’s int he genes. (The ones not attached to coyote tails.)


Feel better about your costumes since you never wore animal appendages during a cake walk? You’re welcome.


What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child? Did you have a rotary dial phone? Was it avocado green?!

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