WARNING! GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
Walking Andi down a quiet stretch of back road, near swampland and twisted, broken trees, there is an abundance of squashed fauna embedded in the asphalt.
These poor hapless creatures didn’t stand a chance. A frog weighing in at five ounces faced against a hurtling metal behemoth weighing in at 3,000 pounds, well, there’s no contest, is there?
Frogs, moles, mice, baby birds, chipmunks, turtles, squirrels, opossums, skunks, and other assorted and indeterminate creatures litter the tarmac, their poor torn bodies crushed and fly-ridden, left as mere fodder for maggots and crows.
If they could talk (I mean, in human language, as I’m sure a turtle or chipmunk have their own brand of communication), what would their stories have been?
For instance, coming across a frog that appears relatively intact, I wonder where he was going and where he came from. Was he having an illicit love affair with Ms. Toad down the road? Did his frog wife suspect anything? Was he out carousing with some of his amphibian pals, having a stiff drink of bog juice at the local watering hole? Was he a tad tipsy as he hopped across the road in the wee morning hours?
Just minding his own business, perhaps formulating a few white lies for his patient wife, maybe give her a bouquet of dead flies as an offering and then—BLAM!—a ’67 Nova driven by a slacker mechanic with his own set of woes runs him over. Not enough to squash him, though. Just enough head trauma to allow him a few more moments of life, for him to wonder just what in hell had hit him.
He lies on the side of the road face up, staring at the swaying branches of pine above, watching as a lone heron flies high overhead, and hears his comrades off in the distance, tuning up their banjos for the evening’s symphony at dusk.
He lies there with his lies, and wonders what will become of him. He knows only a few more breaths are his and that soon he will croak, and croak no more.
Just one tale among many lifeless tails out there dotting the pavement everywhere. We humans think nothing of splattering a frog, or a bug, or even the occasional squirrel. Nope. There’s impact, and then we’re gone. And so are they.
So what the hell am I driving at here, when I’m not driving along back country roads? It’s just a simple message, really; to pay more attention to what may be out there ahead of you, hopping or skipping or jumping or slithering or leaping or walking across the road. Try to make the effort to save a turtle or a blind hairless mole rat that may be dawdling across your path.
Hey, they all have stories and lives and loved ones waiting for them at home. Just like us. So have a little more respect for the fauna that may just scoot in front of you.
(And Buddha forbid those who nail a black cat crossing your path. )
There’s an old bumper sticker out there that’s rather apropos. It read, “My Karma ran over my Dogma.”
And as we all know, karma can be a bitch.
So keep an eye out for that female dog that may bound in front of your Beemer.
That’s all I’m saying. A li’l courtesy for critters.
And for all those who bypassed my writing and skipped directly to the gory photos?
Well, there aren’t any. What kind of psycho do you think I am?
If you did scroll, man, you are one sick puppy.
©Paul Grignon, 2013, All Rights Reserved.