Road Kill Lament

Yesterday at 65 miles per hour on the interstate between Milwaukee and Chicago I barely saw the little helpless white and brownish pigeon beginning to enter the highway ahead of me.

I did somehow notice that the ill-fated tiny feathered friend began perilously walking out from the shoulder onto the highway.

I felt certain in hope that it would take flight and fly to the right, or left, or,– take off like a fighter plane ascending so quickly upwards like on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

I hardly gave a thought to swerving left to divert my path to get out of the way of that simple creature. I thought intuitively the bird must know better than to walk onto the highway, ……..right?

I chose not to swerve. And now I rationalize, that to be “safe” I thought it might better to hold the wheel steady.

I drove ahead and sheepishly looked into my rear view mirror, hearing nothing and hoping for the best.

I could comprehend a sad picture as my heart sank seeing a flutter of wings in what looked like a frenzied life struggle going on. I wondered aloud to my passenger, if perhaps the wind and jet stream had just knocked the poor creature around.

Saddened, I wondered aloud if the bird had somehow escaped my fatality- inducing wheel and tire.

Now a mile or so away,-I could only pray the creature might recover.

“Did you hit that bird? My passenger implored?” “I hope not”, I replied, as only I had the rear view mirror image emblazoned in my head,– already beginning to haunt me.

I began to feel inconsolable deep remorse, and wondered how God would feel about the potential loss of life so blatantly knocked aside by a careless motorist.

Minutes passed in the quiet, and the incident became a blur. Soon the car radio and the ball game drowned out the silence inside the car. The lingering guilt like an erupting volcano seemed to promise action.

Now, I can only wonder, and pray that next time, I think it might be better to swerve and take the risk rather than suffer the label of accepting the indictment of being a ‘brazen bird killer. Was I a careless man too busy to care for God’s little ones? Should I next time work at having the mind to slow down and give the little ones a fighting chance against overly abundant odds?

Live and learn?


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