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In the novel, Jesusa took in a coyote.

As a revolutionary soldadera, Jesusa fought side by side with her young husband, Pedro Aguilar. Her job was to load her husband's Mauser and hers as well, so that he would never be without ammunition during battle.

On one occasion, General Juan Espinosa Y Cordoba gave his soldiers the order to set up camp in the San Antonio Arenales sierra region. It was while the soldiers were hunting for wood to build fires with and Pedro was looking for branches to fashion a small makeshift house with, that everyone caught sight of a coyote. The animal was so small that many of the soldiers called her a puppy. She was an extremely trusting animal and did not shy away from human contact.

Jesusa took in the coyote as her personal pet and fed the coyote atole, a beverage made from corn masa flour. Jesusa asserted that the coyote got very attached to her and wouldn't let anyone get near her; at night, the coyote slept on her legs and kept her warm. One day, however, tragedy befell the coyote when the colonel grabbed Jesusa's arm. Although it wasn't quite clear why he did so (perhaps he did not appreciate Jesusa playing the assembly bugle in Pedro's place), Jesusa blamed this act for the death of her beloved pet; for his part, the colonel claimed that he shot the coyote in self-defense.

She accused the colonel of cruelty and maintained that the coyote was only trying to protect her. Frustrated by her accusations, the colonel offered to pay a hundred pesos as compensation for the animal's death. Meanwhile, grieved beyond measure, Jesusa ignored the colonel's offer and instead demanded the restoration of her pet to her. The colonel, genuinely puzzled by Jesusa's unreasonable demand, ignored her and walked away.

Jesusa was left to grieve for her beloved pet alone. She maintained that she often dreamed of the coyote after its death because she missed it so much. To assuage her grief, she then raised two piglets and took to caring for a sow and a dog. She named the dog Jazmin; he was a great comfort to Jesusa after the coyote's death. When Jazmin died, and it looked like the sow would die too, Jesusa begged her husband to give the sow away. So, Pedro sold the sow to a merchant from Piedras Negras. Shortly after this, Pedro was killed in battle, and Jesusa lost all desire to have pets in her life.

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