no sooner had i typed about the lamentable trio of skunks and raccoons and owlers, when lo and behold, i found a raccoon scavenging in my back yard after work today. my first reaction was “you bastard!” because that is what happens when doctor nature taps me in the knee with his reflex hammer. i mobilized and was about to send the coon scurrying, when i noticed that his back leg wasn’t functioning as the intelligent designers intended and so, i sat.
he moved about 40 feet and lay in a swatch of lifeless bluejoint grass, where his head sunk. my disdain turned to empathy. life and death, but death in a context where i can see it and understand that despite survival and getting to this point on the march to summer, it wasn’t enough. perhaps it is old or diseased or injured. perhaps it will recover, but to do that, it must avoid the predators who saunter through my property in search of an easy meal. whatever occurs, the humanist in me was able to see that indifference and disdain are always eager to give way to compassion and recognition that i was able to watch an animal crawl into the alder, knowing i will never see it again, but that i was able to say good-bye.