Road kill tales

I read blog post recently about hitting a squirrel on the road, I left a comment as the sense of guilt from killing a creature on the road reminded me of a time a friend of mine, a keeper of 2 owls and countless other birds, hit a baby owl and killed it driving home one night when I was in the car.  He was crushed. 

And so was the owl.

It got me thinking about road kill (joyful subject huh) and it sparked a memory that sounds made up but is no word of a lie and I think falls into the ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ bracket. It happened in the hazy days of the late 90’s…..

I met up with a mate of mine to do god knows what, something daft/dull/pointless but a means to fill in summer time evening and he proceeds to tell me what happened to his mum.  She was driving into town (we lived in a wee village) earlier that day and saw a black bag on the road.  She made murmurings of how unsightly litter is and hoped that it had been caught by the wind to end up where it lay and not recklessly thrown from a car but thought no more than that.  There was no time to stop and pick it up and she was driving a Land Rover and after all and these bad boys were built of stern stuff and weren’t about to be halted by flimsy black plastic.  

It was at the very last moment and she accelerated out of the corner, milliseconds before impact that the black bag turned and gazed back at her with its eyes.

It turns out you see that the bag was not a bag but in fact a seal. 

On the road. 

With the sea nowhere in sight.

I know what you are thinking, that I am about to tell that next she had to swerve to avoid a unicorn, that was my reaction too.  But I was taken on a short walk to the incidents ‘ground zero’ and there spread across the road were the remains of the seal along with a carcass at the side of the road where my mate and his brother had left it.  His mum had he returned to the house in a bit of shock and a bubbling mess so the boys had gone to clear up the scene.  Who do you call about that type of thing? 

It’s a good job she was in a decent sized vehicle, a smart car would have been written off, and to have only injured the seal would probably have been worse than killing it out right.

How did it get there?  Well the best theory we could come up with was that it had followed the stream by the road from the estuary that eventually leads to the sea.  A lot of recent rainfall had it swelling up higher than normal and we could only guess that the seal had got confused and come up on the road for a look to try and get its bearings.  Unfortunately it got a lot more than that.

 

angry seal

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