Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A world went silent

One morning while leaving my home to jog with two of my dogs, I saw something in the road just beyond my driveway. As I moved closer, I could see that it was not a scrap of trash but, from the shape and color, a bird. My heart sank.

Walking tentatively towards the fallen body I could see it was a Robin. Sadness came about me.

About two months or so ago, two Robins had taken up residence in my backyard. I'd see them in the morning and whenever I was around during the day, hopping in the yard enjoying the habitat I'd cultivated for wildlife. Then, about three weeks ago, I heard a constant chirping and saw the Robins nurturing a fledgling.

I stood over the lifeless body and with tears filling my eyes said, "Oh, who would hurt you? Who would hurt you?"

I picked her up and could see that her neck was broken. Most likely she was flying low across the road heading towards my yard where I keep the feeders full and someone struck her while driving past. My thoughts flew to the perpetrator. Did they know they hit her? Did they look in their rear view mirror to see if they did and kept going? Or, were they oblivious on a workday morning in the rush to get somewhere. I dwelt on the different scenarios while anger rose in me.

Not yet a week previous, I picked up a rabbit out of the road, and a week previous to that, a squirrel and a week previous to that another Robin in a different area of my neighborhood, and a week or so before that another rabbit. And just this week, I rescued an injured Box Turtle that was stuck in the middle of the road. Four days later, just outside my neighborhood, I saw a coyote lying prone on the side of the road. Today I moved a baby Box Turtle out of the road but I also saw one that had died under someone’s car wheel.

These deaths happen in a residential neighborhood with a speed limit of 20 miles an hour. And my jogging circuit is about two miles. Multiply the amount I've seen in my small area across the size of the country and the numerous roads crisscrossing it.

It has got to be an enormous carnage.

I buried the fallen Robin in my backyard next to the birdbath and with that a world went silent. Several days later the chirping of the fledgling ceased.

She, her fledgling, her mate and all the others I've seen, not only in my neighborhood, but in all the roads I have driven, are innocent of the folly of humans - our selfishness, our incessant consumerism, our rush to rush somewhere on roads crossed by wildlife who are simply heading somewhere.

Even in death she was beautiful and radiated sweet innocence, a solace that's redolent of the greater things and deeper meanings of this world.

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