Aside from mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, wife, in-law, writer, blogger, yoga-enthusiast, you can now add another to the list of things that I am:
I didn't see the critter coming across the street. OK, that's a lie. Add liar to that list. I saw the chipmunk scrambling to get to the other side. I always see them crossing, whether it's a squirrel, a chipmunk, a goose, whatever. And I always break for 'em. In fact, if there was a bumper sticker that says, "I Break for Critters" it should be mine, cuz I do. Even if it means jeopardizing the children in the car. I break.
And hahaha, yes I just realized it should be BRAKE and not BREAK, but guess what? That poor little guy is certainly broken today. As in breaked.
Anyway, grammar lesson complete, I always brake for the little guys.
Because I know that little critter is crossing in a scurry to get to the other side, to perhaps bring a fallen acorn to his little chipmunk family, and I want him to get across. I do.
But today, the little guy didn't make it. I put on my brakes, and while slowed, I didn't stop, because, well, I don't know why I didn't stop. There wasn't another car behind me. It would have been OK for me to stop. But, I was in a hurry to get to Jimmy John's and get a JJBLT, some salt & vinegar chips and a big ole diet coke. Yes, I was solely thinking of myself.
And that's when it happened, although, I wasn't sure if I squashed him or not with my front right tire. I didn't FEEL anything, not a bump or a jump or anything to indicate that I had hit the critter.
Only did I realize my crime when I looked in the rearview mirror and saw his little body on the street. Except at that time, it looked plump as if I maybe just almost rolled over it and stunned the poor guy.
When I came back on my way home, I drove slowly and said this mantra: Please don't be dead little guy, please don't be dead ... over and over in my head.
But he was. Squished like a bug. Flatter than a pancake, and guts oozing from it's poor little chipmunk body.
How could this have happened? I love little critters. There's a couple even underneath my front walkway, and sometimes they peek out at me as if to say, "Hello kind lady. Thanks for letting us make our home at your home!"
That poor little dude will never see his family again. He will have not been able to deliver the goods to whomever he was taking acorns and nuts to. I have ended his life.
I take that road often, probably 10 times a week. And from now on, I will have to drive through the murder site, and remember that I ended a little critter's life. It makes me sad.
And only fitting, when I got home, I look at our Halloween decorations, and see one fake tombstone that says RIP, and the other, which sent chills up my spine:
YOUR TIME WILL COME.