Feed on

The remainder of a two-dimensional possum:

Due to the close, personal association between me and the streets in my habitual mode of bicycle commuting, I get to see a lot of roadkill. Possums and squirrels mostly, various birds, some cats, the occasional dog, and once in a while a skunk or a raccoon.

The thing about roadkill is that if your local public works or sanitation department isn’t that vigilant (or nobody calls the carcass in for cleanup) you get a linear progression of its degradation. Day one, mostly whole, sometimes it even looks just like an animal in repose. Day two, if not run over, it will begin to bloat and stink, with flies swarming around or ants crawling. Day Three, it will probably have been run over some, or may have collapsed due to the undue constraints of internal pressure. Explody! Over a succession of following days it will become more or less desiccated and less stinky, until all that is left is a small, leathery husk of something vaguely biological, which will probably be swept into the nearest catch basin after a good, strong rain. Much like the flattened squirrel that Squee took to school for show-and-tell. There’s not much left to eat on it anymore.

I darn near ran over a squirrel with my bike yesterday. I was heading off to work, and it was very windy—I had all sorts of debris crossing my path and smacking into me…it was like being in a garbage fuelled bead blaster. In passing, I really fucking hate people who throw trash all over the place. Makes the city look slummy, encourages rats, and can be damaging to whatever other urban wildlife as exists. Anyhow, I’m trundling along the street, fighting a headwind, carefully breathing through my nose so as not to get a mouthful of somebody’s discarded Kleenex, and I see something brown bouncing and skittering toward my front tire. I assumed it was a discarded McDonald’s bag or some other small, brown lunch sack or liquor bag.. So I assumed until it started chirping and chittering angrily at me. I got to hear Squirrely Wrath firsthand. A really alarmed, pissed off squirrel sounds kind of like a peevish chicken.

About a month or so ago, somebody ran over a squirrel right out in front of our house, and I really didn’t feel like messing with it if I could help it, but I found that as it decayed, the smell was too awful to be borne, and completely killed (heh) any chance of lounging on the porch, so I scooped it up with the snow shovel and buried it in the alley behind the house. Well. What would you do?

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