I drive home after work on an idyllic Spring day last week, taking the Mill Street shortcut to view the magnificent flowering trees, the tranquil pond, the various waterfowl and a lone white swan, swimming languidly through the sun-warmed water. Peacefulness settles over me.
Traveling on the road ahead, a large black SUV, moving faster than the posted 25 mph speed limit, rounds the corner and not a flash of brake lights is observed as down and feathers suddenly float all around the black behemoth. A Canadian goose lands on its belly in the road in front of me. I bring my car to a stop and am horrified as the bird flaps her wings to no avail, desperate to get out of the road. Her legs appear broken. I am filled with pity as her mate stands over her, watching, while she freaks out and I act automatically, unthinking.
I pull the car over and I bound from it to the distressed animal floundering in the road. Gently grasping her beak to keep her from biting, I lift her off the road and walk her to the pond’s edge, where, as I place her gently on the ground, her struggling ceases and her neck goes limp. I become aware I am crying.
I did not realize a goose’s body was so light and warm and so incredibly soft. The tears flow and mix with the blood on my hands. A line of cars passes by slowly and somberly, witnesses to a senseless death and a crazy woman on this beautiful Spring day.