Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Time to spare

I saw something disturbing on Friday. It was one of those cannot now get it out of my head moments.

A car hit a squirrel.

The disturbing part was that they had enough time to avoid hitting the squirrel. I was watching from my spot, waiting to turn. And in my head, saying, “Slow down. Slow down. OMG.” I didn’t say anything out loud because my youngest was in the car. Had she seen it, she would have had nightmares.

I think either the squirrel had been hit before or more likely just got confused being on the road with cars coming. But in two more seconds, it would have been off the road. Two seconds. That was all it needed to escape.

The car never slowed. Never hit the brakes. It had enough time to. Had enough time to slow itself so the squirrel could get off the road. Had enough time to stop really because nothing was close enough behind it to be a danger. But the car didn’t. I don’t even think they looked back.

I can’t help wondering why. Squirrels aren’t my favorite animals. They empty my bird feeders. They chew on things like my trashcans. But I’d never go out of my way to hit one.

Was the person on the phone? Didn’t see the animal trying to cross? Simply not paying attention on a road they’ve driven hundreds of times? Were they in a hurry? Couldn’t slow down because they had to be somewhere?

I’m not sure which I’d like to believe. Inattention or not caring. I’d like to think the best but after what I saw, I can’t. One tap of the brakes and the squirrel would have made it across.

I’ll never know the reasons why the incident happened.

But I replay the moment when the car is coming and the squirrel is crossing in my head often. Still can’t believe it hit the little animal.

Maybe now I’m driving a little slower. Paying more attention to what’s around me. So I don’t take out any small animals and leave someone wondering about me.

RIP unknown squirrel.

May the muses have two seconds to spare

PS I posted at Ladies of the Club on my brain vacation.

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