Day 18: Kill something day.Posted: January 18, 2011
The Book urges “stamp[ing] out the sad life of a member of some inferior species … an ant, or perhaps a gnat of some kind.” Well, I did the Book one better (or one worse, maybe?), and killed a small mammal – a squirrel, to be exact.
It was an accident, if you’ll believe me. I knew what today’s task was, but I was hoping to find a roach or something – I was sure that if I turned the compost enough, something gross would scurry out. Barring that, I think there’s a new fire ant colony in my front yard, and pouring a pot of boiling water on them – after stomping the mound to get them riled up (which you have to do very quickly, because they’re fast, angry little buggers) – always seems to kill a few.
This was my plan – but there’s that saying about the best laid plans of mice and men … uh, which is that they don’t work, or something. That’s one of those proverbs I only know the first part of. At any rate, I planned to do in an invertebrate of some sort, but as I was taking Jack to school, I hit a squirrel.
“So what?,” you may be asking. “People run over squirrels all the time!” In their cars, yes: but I wasn’t in a car. The pre-school Jack goes to is only a quarter-mile from our house, and it pains me to drive such a short distance, so we take the xtracycle (that’s not my xtra, but it’s much prettier than mine). And that is what I hit the squirrel with.
Here’s how it happened: the squirrel started across the street from a yard to our left, far enough ahead of us that it could have safely made it across. It panicked, however, and doubled back when it had gone perhaps two-thirds of the way across the street. This would have been a fine, if unnecessarily cautious, course of action, if it had not been for the pickup truck coming from the opposite direction. The squirrel, correctly calculating that its attempt to return to the yard from which it started would result in its being squashed by said truck, turned around again, and made a final dash at the yard for which it had originally been aiming. Unfortunately, the squirrel instead collided with the front wheel of my bicycle, and died.
This all happened very quickly, of course, or I would have slowed down so as to not hit the squirrel – not because I am so soft-hearted that one dead squirrel bothers me (they’re like rats with
wings bushy tails) – but because if it had gotten caught in my spokes, rather than smashing its head into my tire, bad things would have happened. It probably wouldn’t have caused us to endo, but it would’ve been a nasty mess.