RATHDRUM - Curiosity, they say, killed the cat. But the coyote? He ran away to live another day.
Lee Gibson found himself eye to eye with a coyote when one wandered in his open back door about 1 a.m. Thursday.
Yep. Just waltzed right in and stared at the Rathdrum man for a few seconds before fleeing when he reached for a gun.
"I did a double take," he said. "Sure as hell, it was a coyote standing there looking at me."
Gibson, who lives alone in a ranch house behind the main home off Meyer Road, was sitting in his recliner, a lamp on, watching TV, recording a show, when "the volume zapped out."
There was silence.
That's when he noticed, out of the corner of his eye, a small critter creeping into the room.
Gibson first thought it was a dog. He has six, five small, that sleep in the main house. Then, he took another look. This was no dog on all fours.
"It took me a second to realize it was a coyote," he said.
It was brown and gray, average size, perhaps a few years old.
For a few seconds, their eyes locked, not 15 feet between them.
"He definitely wasn't afraid," Gibson said. "He walked in there and looked right at me."
Not afraid, and not dumb, either.
Gibson, unsure of the coyote's intentions, reached for a .22 handgun.
It was then the notoriously shy creature darted away.
"As soon as I moved, he was gone," Gibson said.
The man relaxed and wondered, what the heck just happened? He wasn't really scared, he said, because he knows coyotes don't attack people.
Still, to have one wander into your living room, well, that's cause for concern.
"That kind of freaked me out," he said.
According to www.coyotefacts.net, coyotes are very elusive.
"They are nocturnal, which means that they only come out to hunt and thrive during the evening hours," the website said. "Coyotes are afraid of humans and this makes them even harder to observe ..."
Gibson said he has lived in his home on the Rathdrum Prairie for seven years. He has routinely sees coyotes around, but not on the property where he lives.
Gibson's family and coyotes have a history together.
His great-grandfather, Henry Lee Morris, was a renowned coyote trapper, and Gibson has many of his old traps. He was, Gibson said, one of the last real cowboys.
"I'm Lee Morris Gibson," he said proudly.
He said he might consider putting out traps if coyotes continue to come close to his home, but would have to check to see if their use was allowed. As well, traps would pose a danger to his dogs. Traps, he added, "seem kind of cruel to me."
But of this he is sure: It was a coyote that paid him a visit.
"I know a coyote, I've been hunting all my life," he said.
Then, the man's whose CB moniker is "Wiley Coyote," added, "I've never seen one come into my house."