Here’s a two-Americas story for you: Westchester County, in the suburbs of New York City, was home to Hillary Clinton when she pretended to represent New York in the U.S. Senate, and its voters gave Barack Obama 63 percent of their ballots in 2008. It’s the sort of place that causes heavy breathing among the liberal faithful devoutly awaiting the coming of the New Democratic Majority, that blessed condition that will enrapture America when formerly Republican white suburbanites once and for all join forces with the traditional Democratic coalition of ward heelers and welfare recipients in common cause against the pro-lifers, gun nuts, and tea-partying Palin enthusiasts of the GOP. So sayeth the Gospel according to Paul Begala.
But Westchester County has a problem more often seen in rural, Republican-leaning jurisdictions: coyotes. These canine predators are a real menace, a fact that was dramatically illustrated in late June by the case of young Emily Hodulik, age six, who was attacked by a pair of coyotes on a leafy suburban street in the quaint town of Rye. The coyotes’ offensive proceeded along classically predatory lines as the canines ignored the other children in the group and targeted the smallest, weakest child. Miss Hodulik suffered serious bite wounds but escaped without life-threatening injuries. She’s undergoing a series of rabies shots, doesn’t like to sleep alone, and is afraid that there are coyotes in the basement of the family home. Local officials have warned Westchester residents to keep an eye out for the beasts, especially if they have small children.