I spent much of the night in a shivery and wet sleep, cradling Coyote's skull and dreaming of hot fires, hot pursuit and hot meals. Through the dreams came fuzzy sounds: almostwords, crackletalk, whisperparts. When I awoke it was not yet dawn, and I was holding the skull against my head as if it were a telephone, and hearing a faint voice coming from within. I shut my eyes, tried to blot out all sound but the Coyotesounds. I strained to hear.
Something soft and sad...
In a hungry trance I rose from the wet ground, brushed myself off with one hand, held Coyote to my ear with the other. And let the soft, crackling whispers guide me. The fog had lifted and moonlight reflected off of wet leaves and limbs. Flickering pools of light drew me toward them. Coyote's voice pulled me along, in a dazed zigzag, from here to there, to there, to here, from blue diamond light to starglow to bramblethorns to a deer path. Which I followed.
I saw light ahead of me. A street light. I kept moving. My feet touched tarmac. I was no longer in the forest.