As I’ve been traveling more, again, I’ve gotten so tired of seeing dead animals on the road. It’s begun to sicken me. Everywhere you go you see little carcasses and mauled remains. Some are not so little; I’ve seen several good sized dead dogs. The other day on the way to work I saw two dead cats on Rio Grande no more than 50 yards apart. It’s especially saddening to see baby animals, such as kittens, and to realize how terribly brief their existence was….
I was thinking these thoughts driving home from Devine Thursday morning, and was on a stretch of road between Pleasanton and Floresville that goes through the John Connally property called the San José Cattle Company. Flocks of birds were flying up off the road and I hit one. It produced a noticeable thump, and I cursed and thought how ironic. I stopped in Goliad for coffee and the poor thing was lodged in my grille. Of all the things you don’t expect to hit, it’s a bird.
Someone said at the office the other day that a scientist, as an experiment, recently placed a rubber turtle and a rubber snake on a road and recorded motorists’ behavior. Everyone tried to hit the snake, and 50% of the passersby tried to hit the turtle. I wonder what this reveals.
[Correspondence, 1987. Copyright (c) 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.]