I think that I saw a hyena this morning. In McLean, Virginia. McLean’s one of Northern Virginia’s more upscale neighborhoods (which is saying something), but that means that many yards have a woodland buffer between the McMansions on adjacent lots.
I stopped at Balducci’s on my way to work because today was the 25% off a case of wine sale. On my way back, an animal ran into the road and stopped traffic in both directions in order to grab some roadkill and, after being honked at by cars in both directions, run off into some brush by the side of the road. At first, from its size, I thought it must be a rather large fox, although it had the bright morning sun behind it and I couldn’t see too clearly. But it didn’t have a fox’s trademark tail and it had striped markings that I’ve never seen before on a fox. It could have been a coyote or a wolf, but the pictures I’ve looked at online make me think it was a hyena.
All day, as I read transcripts, made notes for briefs, and marked up cases, I kept remembering the animal, giving thanks for an early-morning encounter with something unknown. I can’t find any indication that hyenas live in Virginia; Kentucky seems to be the closest state with semi-verified sitings. But I am full of reverence for the manifestations of the Great Goddess that clean our roads and ensure that even random death serves a greater purpose.
May it be so for you.
Picture found here.