Friday, June 19, 2009

Roadkill 101

As a relatively new driver, I realize there are a certain number of "firsts" which I am sure to encounter. First speeding ticket. First "slo-poking" along behind an elderly driver. First "I locked my keys in car". First drive to work on icy streets. But this past Monday, as I headed into work, I encountered one of my most dreaded firsts - my first roadkill.

Granted, I see all sorts of unfortunate animals strewn about the streets, many times impossible to even indentify. It had fur and legs - and that's about all you can usually make out.

But this past Monday morning, at around 5:10 am, I was heading up Creedmoor Road here in North Raleigh, completely caught up in my "Beatles For Sale" CD when out of nowhere this adorable, furry, happy-go-lucky bunny rabbit comes darting across the road. As I caught him in my headlights, I froze. He froze. Neither one of us sure of what to do. With traffic to my right and behind me, I had to think fast. He didn't seem to be doing any sort of deep thinking. He just stood there, staring at me as if to say, "Hey, I know you gotta think fast, but could you please try not to hit me?" Believe me when I say I am the last person to intentionally take a small animal's life, but this situation called for a quick manuever. My logic said try and get him in between my tires (brand new tires too, by the way) and hopefully he'd clear the bottom of the car and come out unscathed. I did just that.

Sadly, my calculations did not account for the fact this rabbit may, in a moment of panic, try to hop, as rabbits do, whilst under the car.

I hear a sickening "thud" as I passed over him. Clearly he had hopped. I immediately looked up in my rear view mirror, only to see this poor little guy spinning in circles on the pavement, obviously killed by the blunt force trauma to his head.

Needless to say, I lost it. I felt like I had just opened fire on the damned thing. Between trying to drive, and praying for God to forgive me, and crying, I finally did make it to work semi-composed. Not a good way to start off the week.

As the week went on, I slowly let that memory go, and forgave myself for something which I had no control over. What was done, was done. I just hoped I would not be put in that position again any time soon. Too much to ask for apparently.

This morning, coming home from Kroger, on that same stretch of Creedmoor Road, only this time heading in the opposite direction, I came across a squirrel darting across which was, at 10:00 am, a very busy road. This time I was lucky enough not to have anyone behind me within a dangerous distance, so as he ran out in front of my car, I slowed to almost a stop, safely, and the squirrel panicked and darted left, only to have the car in the lane next to me honk and then speed over him like a steamroller. I watched in horror as parts of the squirrel exploded all over the road. Even though it was not at my hand this time, it was almost just as upsetting.

I couldn't believe it. Twice. Twice in five days I encountered this nauseating scene. Is it normal for a person to be shaken the way I was when this happens? Perhaps I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I digress. Even knowing that this happens to hundreds, if not thousnads of animals every day doesn't make it sit any easier on my conscience. Go ahead and call me "over sensitive" if you like, but man, what an awful beginning and end to this week.
Now, where's that bus schedule????

No comments:

Post a Comment

Add to Technorati Favorites