Comes this tale of a grandfather attacked by a rabid coyote on a trail near the burbs of Boston.

On Oct. 5, the 76-year-old grandfather had been walking a trail behind his home at the Birchwood Community Development with his 4-year-old grandson when a gray female coyote attacked. The youngster ran for help while Cole managed to hold down the rabid, 40-pound coyote, which was later killed by police.

Now that’s a true outdoorsman: He’s got a snarling, nasty coyote on his hands and he has the presence of mind to wrestle it to the ground and hold it there till help arrives. I see coyotes now and then on the trails around the Bay Area. They’re not terribly numerous — I’ve come across ’em maybe a half-dozen times in the past year and a half — and they always run away at the sight of me (just like those girls in grade school).

Coyotes are they’re not very big; quite a bit smaller than a German shepherd, lacking the death-grip jaws of a pitbull. Your average neighborhood dog running loose is far more dangerous. But like dogs they can carry rabies. If on the odd chance you get bitten by one, get your butt to the doctor right away and get used to the idea of rabies shots. Coyotes are like rattlesnakes in that they aren’t likely to kill you, but they they should be afforded serious respect — and lots of distance.