They had spent the entire day outside - walking through the snow covered meadows in the valley, sliding down a gentle slope in the afternoon, walking up to Mirror Lake and finally, after a dinner of pizza and some wine, the rest of the family had gone to the open air ice arena that was close to their cabin in Curry Village. She, however, had chosen not to skate but go further away from the village and watch the full moon over Half Dome, the landmark of Yosemite.
She stood at the low fence by the meadow, taking in the moon light and the silence. Every now and then laughter was heard from the ice arena, and if she turned around she could have seen the flickering light of the fire in the huge fire pit right next to the ice arena. But she didn't turn around. Her eyes were trained to the top of Half Dome that glowed mysteriously in the light of the moon.
Suddenly a shadow emerged from the trees to her left, a low shadow. Quietly it was moving toward her. She didn't even have to look to know immediately what it was. She stood perfectly still, only her eyes were following the shadow.
It was a coyote. A lone coyote strolling through the night, avoiding the loud humans and following the white patches that the moon painted on the ground.
She almost held her breath, afraid to make a noise and scare the animal away. Her spirit animal. She didn't feel any fear, just gentle curiosity and a deep fondness.
Finally the coyote noticed her. However, he didn't stop, just moved a little bit to the side and closely passed her in no hurry at all - as if he knew that she was some kind of kindred spirit and he was safe with her. She looked after him until he had disappeared among the deep shadows of the trees.
She stood there for a long time, staring to the trees. Then she turned around, cast a last look to the moon and slowly returned to their cabin.
Another true story...