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2012-05-15 9:01 PM
On Sunday morning, when I was on my way to pick up Mom for Mother's Day, I was a still a little bleary-eyed because it was earlier than I usually venture out, especially on a Sunday. But I was alert enough to slam on the brakes in time to save the life of a peacock that was crossing the road just beyond a blind curve on my street.
That's the reason I don't take that curve any faster than I do, in fact. There is a family of peacocks who are known to cross at that point. I hadn't seen them lately, but I'm always cautious. Perhaps the reason I haven't seen them is that they cross on Sunday mornings. That's usually a time when a peacock can feel safe from my tires. I can't speak for anyone else's vehicle, however.
And you don't want to know what it looks like when a peacock is hit by a car. I've seen the aftermath, at least from the bird's perspective. No idea what the car looked like.
Today when I was gassing up my car, there was a pigeon strutting around at the station, and it simply would not get out of my way. I would have been justified in running over it, but instead I swerved so far around the pumps to avoid it that I had to back into the space so my tank could reach the nozzle. It's likely the pigeon would have got out of the way anyway, but I wasn't willing to act as if I knew that to be the case to a hundred percent certainty.
That said, I cannot be responsible for all creatures, great and small and in between. And that's how I know (to at least a ninety percent certainty) that the field mouse whose body is stretched across my driveway just outside the garage door isn't any victim of mine. There are enough feral cats around here, along with domestic cats who pretend to be feral, that I don't have to take the blame. The body is in pristine condition, though. That gives me pause. My tires would have left marks, but with cats, sometimes all that's left is the head, or maybe a flank.
What I'm thinking is that a hawk or a buzzard dropped the mouse and then lost track of it. I don't think they show up on the birds' radar as well if they're not moving, and this one was definitely not moving. So I guess it's up to me to give it a proper funeral. By which I mean picking it up with a shovel and flinging it as far as it will go. That's an advantage of living in the country: open fields, where dead things can rot in peace. Of course, this kind of thing didn't happen nearly as often when I lived in town.
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