On my way home tonight I was stopped on Rt. 83. I looked ahead of me and saw a baby bunny, strong enough to be away from his mother probably for the first time. He was on the curb, and I saw he had every intention of jumping down to get under the car in front of me and through to the other side. I knew that would be a disaster if the car moved. I mentally thought, don't do it. Just stay where you are for now.
But he hopped down. Then he went under the car. I thought about lowering my window and yelling at the driver ahead of me to not move because of the bunny, but it was a rainy night. No one had their windows down. No one would have heard me.
And then the car moved. The bunny freaked out and tried to hop back, but then he realized that he was fucked if he didn't stand still. He froze, ears back, making as small a target of himself.
The car drove away, and the bunny remained uncrushed. But he was still frozen, probably by my presence. I rolled down my window and poked my head out. Someone behind me honked, but fuck them. I said, "It's okay. I'm not going to hurt you. Go on, now. Get out of the road."
And he did; He disappeared into some brush, unharmed.
It brought me back to when I was a kid. It was my first father-son Cub Scout camping trip. Some may recall my story "Snipe Hunt" in The Literary Hatchet #12 (which you can read for free here). That's kinda-sorta based on a true story. It happened on the same camping trip as what I'm about to talk about.
We were all out on a hike, and it turned out we were lost. Not even the adults knew where we were. One of them jokingly said we were probably in Missouri, and I bought it hook, line and sinker. It took me many years to realize just how far Missouri is from Chicago. Anyway, we were walking along a highway, trying to find our way back to camp, and the cars were next to us, stuck in a traffic jam. They were moving very slowly.
A baby crow came down on the pavement. It had no fear of us. It hopped close to us, and we were all thrilled to be so close to this bird. One of my companions even tried to feed the bird out of his hand.
And then a car, slowly creeping up, crushed the bird to death under its front wheel. We all watched this poor bird die before our very eyes. There was nothing left of the fella but paste. All of my fellow Cub Scouts were absolutely horrified. So was I, come to think of it.
Maybe that's yet another reason that I'm incredibly fucked up.