Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

ROAD KILL

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What is it about the open road that turns animal into suicide bombers?

They don’t wear the IED vests, but they do have a tendency to rush headlong across highways oblivious to anything other than making it to the other side. The ones that don’t, end up flayed and flat on the ashphalt, food for crows, ravens, seagulls, turkey vultures or some other animal.

Skunks, groundhogs, raccoons, turtles, and the odd dog and cat are the usual victims. Deer and moose (in and out of season) count as road kill, but they make you pay. Hitting one of them means major damage and sometimes you end up in just as bad shape.

Normally you drive by or around road kill without paying much attention. You’re careful not to run over them again simply because its a messy thing to do. More often than not the sight of it leaves you wondering why the killer (i.e. driver) didn’t bother to take evasive action.

Well. I know why. Because I’ve just gone through the scenario more than once.

The first time involved a mother raccoon and her kit. I saw them scoot into the middle of the Sauble Parkway and stop. Braking as hard as I could, my SUV came to a halt just as mom made it to the safety of the bush. Some mother…abandoning her child. She called for it. But, instead of running to safety, it ran under my truck. With traffic whizzing by me, inconsiderate drivers leaning on their horns, I put my life in danger, and coaxed the little beast out. It took a while. Mom never thanked me. 

Second time, on the same road, a flock of ambling wild turkeys in no great hurry, tested my defensive driving skills. Did you know these big birds can fly?

More terrifying was the cat I didn’t see…until it was too late! I looked up and there it was playing road runner to my coyote. Thank God for ABS. Too bad for the feline.

My other cat encounter was not as gruesome. The old adage about a black cat crossing your path tested my brakes one more time. He made it. I left a lot of rubber on the road. Good thing there were no cars behind me.

Then there was the big, white, dirty, old dog strolling up and down the gravel shoulder on Bruce Road 3. I stopped. He stopped. I asked him if he was lost. He shook his big head and let out a soft grunt, after which he walked away completely ignoring me. On the way back we ran into each other (figuratively) again. He was on the other side of the road. Safe. And very nonchalant.

Is there a point to all of this? Not really. It just amazes me that I would experience such a run of near-death experiences.

These creatures think they are impervious to heavy metal. They’re fearless. They never get stopped by the OPP. And they’re convinced they have the right of way.

Pay attention and drive safely.

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

June 5, 2008 at 9:58 PM

Posted in thoughts

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