Recently I came across a number of beasts I had not, or rarely, seen before. They were all somewhere by the side of a road. They were all striking enough to pause.
A badger, its black fur bristly and coarse.
A grass snake, probably a Montpellier snake, its back greenish and glistening, almost a metre long.
A green lizard with sparkling scales.
A rare species of kestrel (unless I misidentified it).
It could be a lovely thing: so many creatures living next to us, in so little space. It could be wonderful, if three of these five creatures had not been dead. The badger was probably poisoned; its tongue hung out of its mouth, but it bore no trace of wound on its body. The grass snake’s head had been either run over or smashed with a bottle (there were fragments of broken glass around it). The lizard was crushed on the side of the road.
Of course they would be dead. It’s a road. It’s noisy, and it’s dangerous. I suppose most animals steer clear of it, and that’s why the dead ones are easier to spot. Humans should probably steer clear of it too; last time we went biking, we narrowly escaped being hit by a careening Prsche, whose owner probably wanted to prove the already fairly solid point that people who drive expensive cars tend to be slightly more despicable than the rest of the population (but since this has been scientifically proven already, I’m not sure what killing us would have accomplished). Still, its a bit depressing to find yourself face to face with just how murderous the things that allow us to move faster are. Killing something every now and then is unavoidable. That’s the toll we have to pay for… um… being able to afford living forty-five minutes away from work but at least you have a house with a swimming pool?