Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hit and Run


Summer grasses grow tall at the edge of our single-lane road. Their faded heads, heavy with seeds, lean gracefully toward the pavement. The path is narrow, and much of it is winding, with sharp curves that demand a slower speed. But, on the straight and open stretches, cars fly.
The homes here are set back from the road.
And what surrounds them has grown wild and free.

I stood nose to nose with a pick-up truck at the stop sign on the corner yesterday. He turned onto our lane and sped off, ahead of me, until I could no longer see him.
I’m sure he didn’t have time to stop, if he saw her at all.
For, I found her fluttering on the pavement just seconds later.
A Brown Thrasher, like one of the pair I’d seen earlier that morning on our lawn, down the road, near the woods’ edge.

I lifted her with cupped hands and folded them around her--quieting her wings, shielding her face from what I knew must be horribly frightening, though I knew it would not help.
Moments later, within the darkness of my hands, she lay still.



She rests, now, with tall grasses around her.
Where the pavement ends and her world begins.

It would seem, a life lived wild and free deserves, at the very least, that.


Moth Mullein against Chicory

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18 comments:

Lynne said...

Poor little thing. I'm glad you were there to hold her quietly and set her gently aside, acknowledging her ended life, our loss.

Beverly said...

Dang...you find so many ways to give me chills and bring up tears.

The photos of her striking colorations was a lovely way to honor her and show the beauty of her life.

You always find such beauty...you must be a joy to know.

Leora said...

Lovely photos to go with a sweet, sad tale.

NCmountainwoman said...

Mother Nature seems to be sending you a lot of curve balls, doesn't she?

I'm so glad you were able to hold the thrasher during its last breaths. Somehow, I'll bet he knew he was in the hands of a loving person. The tall grasses make a perfect final resting place.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Blessings be upon you; you have a kind and gentle soul.

Dave Coulter said...

At least you helped provide some peace and shelter at the end. I'm certain that feeling of compassion would be appreciated by any creature.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It happens but we don't have to like it. I am so glad you could help that poor little Thrasher. Blessings and peace.

Mary said...

You are so kind and giving, Nina. You make me smile. So sad, but with a sweet ending that made everything alright.

Poor Brown Thrasher. Nice birds...

Bird Feeder Scott said...

What a sad story. I guess the Brown Thrasher couldn't get away in time.

Jennifer said...

Oh, poor baby. It's good you were there to give the bird a nice resting place

scienceguy288 said...

Poor little guy. But se la vie, so to speak.

RHCarpenter said...

Nina, I don't often comment when you've already received so many but I couldn't keep from telling you today that you brought me to tears with your description. You have a poet's soul with such compassion and I truly appreciate you sharing every day with your readers.
---Rhonda

nina said...

I had an experience a few years back that horrified me and made me understand the death an animal experiences at the roadside.
On my way to work one morning, I passed a lump on the double yellow line--a raccoon. I was passing quickly, but I could have sworn it looked at me. I wrestled with whether I'd imagined eyes still watching or seen wrong.
When I drove past that evening, returning home, he was still watching--cars passing hurriedly within inches of him, unable to find shelter to hide.
I stopped, took a large branch and rolled him into the tall grass of the ditch--
better to die in peace, than fear.

This happens all the time, I'm sure. Animals caught on the pavement with no escape. But when I find those still watching, I set them apart--in a thicket or grassy covering.

Kelly said...

lovely photos!

egretsnest said...

Thank you for taking care of her. Poor thing. Still, love and respect at the end mean a lot.

Kerri said...

Your posts are so moving, Nina! This one has once again brought tears to my eyes. The world needs more kindhearted people like you!

RuthieJ said...

Oh how sad. I treasure my brown thrashers too for the few months they're here and would be heartbroken to find one dead.

dguzman said...

No....