I remember this one time I was doing the laundry in the backyard. When I stepped back, I felt something soft and alive under my sandal. I instantly froze as the hair all over my body stood up on its ends. I quickly stepped away and scanned the ground to see what in the world I had stepped on. Please don’t let it be a baby mouse, I thought to myself. We always have little mice scurrying out and about. GASP…. it was a baby bird, still and motionless. It must have fallen out of its nest, I thought as I scanned the birdhouse and tree branches for its parents. Horrified, thinking I had killed it with my foot, I ran and got ma, who was working in the garden. Unable to understand my squeamishness, not to mention my gibberish, she got the gist of what I was trying to say and went to check. She called me back and reluctantly, I went, staying at least ten feet away.
“Look”, she says, “it has already been dead for a while. Ants and other insects are already feasting on it.”
“I didn’t kill it?”, I asked as I inched forward and letting out a big sigh of relief.
I took a closer look. Ants and beetles were making their way through, over, under, and around the bird. Poor bird 😦 I wish its life had turned out better.
Dwelling upon that memory, I saw a dead squirrel on the middle of the road again. I always try to avoid running over dead animals (and live ones) because just like stepping on the baby bird, I have a feeling that I will feel their lifeless bodies, so still and motionless, with my tires. Just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine. Plus, they’ve been through enough. I don’t want to add more to their misery.