Making a Roadkiller

Making a Roadkiller

A Guest Post by Chief Editor and Husband, Chris.

Roadkill is a 2016 thing for us. Rachel and I look for it. We photograph it. We share it. We analyze it. We grade it qualitatively. In some instances, we decorate it.

Runs are always good opportunities to find it. Recently, I was out for a run on a well worn, weekly route. I’ve done this route hot, cold, dry, wet, light, dark, and every combination. These sorts of routine training runs are best done in the company and conversation of others.

I was with two people on this occasion. To protect their identities, let’s call them Macey and Rick.

So we were running. And talking about running. And talking about working out. Macey and I pulled ahead of Rick and chatted away.

Then we rounded a curve and saw it.

** Stop here if you’re squeamish. You have been warned. **

In the middle of the road, a squirrel was slowly crawling across the road. His hind legs and tail were pancake flat, and his front legs were dragging his wounded body. It was soul-crushing to see the poor creature trying so hard to move.

Macey stopped. “We have to do something!!”

I said nothing. In shock, I kept running for a few seconds. But then a blue and white Mini Cooper came toward us, and I knew what I had to do. I flagged it down in true emergency fashion, and the nice lady inside had her window down and listened to my frantic plan.

“This squirrel has been run over, but it’s still alive. We need you to run over it and put it out of its misery.”

She nodded and went with my plan instantly. Like this was her day job – crushing woodland creatures for strangers.

Before we could implement my emergency plan, a utility truck came up behind us – the kind with high metal racks that look like they do important stuff.

Okay, I said, let’s see if they hit him.

Macey, Mini Cooper, and I watched in frozen silence as the truck rolled gingerly over our wounded friend without helping at all.

Back to Plan A.

Macey: “I can’t look.”

Mini: “Make sure I’m lined up.”

Me: “Ok. A little to the left. That’s it.”

The crunch was unexpected and awful. Like stepping on an open bag of pretzels.

Me: “You got it! Thank you!”

Mini drove away.

Quickly, Macey and I ran away, in a somber moment of silence. But just a moment.

Macey: “You were gonna keep going weren’t you.”

Absolutely I was.

Me: “It took me a few seconds to decide what to do. And then I saw the Mini Cooper. And I had I plan. I mean, it’s not like I was gonna beat it with a rock. And it’s not like we were gonna put it in a shoebox and nurse it back to health. Nobody wants rabies.”

Macey: “We’ll just agree to disagree on that one.”

I’ve been married long enough to know when to quit discussing. This was when to quit.

Me: “So, about working out…” and off we ran.

But between you and me, there’s a Kevorkian Code with nature, right? Wild animals not protected by law, like for instance, suburban squirrels, have a standing DNR. Something like, “Do not leave me unable to climb trees, chase ladies, and forage for nuts. Just take me out.”

So judge me if you like. Do the mod thing and take great offense. Rake me over the coals.

But deep down inside, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that road. You need me on that road. So I’d prefer you just said thank you. Because I ordered the Code Red.