Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Ghosts That Haunt Me, Part II

I killed a bunny today. It darted out under my vehicle as I was driving along a road that is surrounded by natural plants and wildflowers. I should have known, or at least thought about the possibility of something alive passing by in front of us.

My daughter and mother-in-law were passengers and thus witnessed the sickening event. We all felt the impact, the ugly thud of a tire passing over a small body. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the still and furry lump in the road, a being that only moments before had been animated with bunny life.

Goddamn it. I did that! Ended a poor rabbit's life because it didn't know any better and ran into the path of an oncoming death machine. Stupid rabbit!

It's too late to do anything about it now, though. I felt the need to validate myself afterward and questioned my daughter, who was sitting in the backseat. Could I have avoided the accident? At first, she was just upset about the bunny being killed and it seemed like she wanted to blame me; but later she blamed the rabbit for its destiny as roadkill.

It's a grim reality we sometimes must face. Things happen that are mostly out of our control and the consequences bring pain into our lives. All three of us experienced the death of the rabbit, but the "smoking gun" was mine because I was driving the vehicle that ran over the unfortunate creature.

What is also unfortunate is referring to this animal as "it" when, in fact, he or she has a gender. That is unfair, and yet who knows whether a boy bunny or a girl bunny died? Will another bunny come along and discover the corpse? Will some other bunny miss the dead bunny, or will the death have no impact on anybody but him or her and the humans who witnessed the death, who were somehow responsible for it?

How does a person process something like this? If I had been on the lookout for an animal in the road, I might have seen it and been able to avoid hitting it. But the thought did not cross my mind and I wonder who is at fault for this failure to recognize the possibility of something like this happening. Despite the nature of the area we were passing through, I was not thinking about a sudden need to swerve, slow down, or come to a stop.

Poor bunny rabbit. I regret hitting him or her, but there is nothing I can do now. RIP. I ended the life of a living creature, a little sweetheart. Somehow, this became my destiny and it makes me sad.

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