Sunday, August 21, 2005

Road Kill #1

It was a quick turn of events.

I believe it was an armadillo.
Medium sized. Wandering across the highway in a driving rainstorm. Horizontal rain. Low visibility.

It didn't see me coming either.
It didn't turn it's head to look at me.
It didn't show me it's fixated eyes, big as saucers, staring into my halogens.
It just kept it's focus on getting to the other side of the road,

It was a fateful crossing.

I wasn't about to try to swerve around it. The slick roads made that decision for me.
I wasn't about to try out the ABS brakes -- yet another decision made for me by Mr. slippery-when-wet roadway.
I wasn't about make the slight correction necessary to align the critter with a tire, humanely killing it with a momentary squish.

It was a quick decision.

I was just going to try to aim straight for it and hope that the armored-vehicle-on-four-legs would be low profile enough to fit beneath the lowest point of our car -- the oil pan....or so I thought.

As I crossed the threshold and the critter momentarily disappeared from my view, I held my breath.

It was a quick breath.

No thundering thud. No fleshly munch. No exoskeleton crunch. Had the silvery sloth relative cleared our 4-bangers 4-quart pan?

I was in mid-starting-to-breath-my-sigh-of-relief when I heard and felt what must have been the critter making contact with what WAS actually the lowest point of our car -- the rear axle.

It was quick death.

The rain streaked rear window afforded little view of the carnage that I had left behind. As before, the near flooded two-lane forced me to keep my eyes focused straight ahead.

I would have to look for the carcass another day.

The next time I'm forced to watch The Lion King DVD for the umpteeth time with my daughters, I'll be sure to sing "The Circle of Life" with just a bit more feeling.


Kenn said...

The more I read your stuff, the more I think how lucky your daughters are to have this record. As I have said before, I grew up in a small town that pretty much echoes the one you find yourself in. In my case I was a child of the fifties in the desert of Arizona, but it doesn’t sound like a lot of small town America has changed. Reading your record is a lot like time travel for me. That was a good time for me and I think for a lot of us. At least the recovered memories tell me I was a happy kid. As someone famous, this is a test for our young readers; one said,”Thanks for the memories.”

OKDad said...

50's....Arizona desert...umm, Kenn, did you ever see any, oh, I don't in black, shiny saucers crashing from the sky, large-eyed little people walking around?

Kenn said...

Of course. I went to grade school with their kids. I still am in touch with some of the younger ones.

OKDad said...

Hmm, that explains more about you than I think I cared to know about.

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