Foxes of Hazard
by Leland Waldrip
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Our roadways claim an incredible number of lives each day. Some are human, but an incalculable number are animals drawn to abundant food and salt on the adjacent lands in addition to simple passage from one side of the road to the other for travel purposes. Mice and voles make their homes in the grass of the median strips, drawing small predators like foxes, bobcats and hawks. Salt (from chemical ice melting agents) is a necessary nutrient in the diets of herbivores like deer and as they feed they have a high risk of becoming road-kill, Road-kill itself draws scavengers of all types. The unlucky individuals so attracted are then in jeopardy of being on another scavenger’s menu, and on and on, etc., etc..
Traffic flowed at eighty,
Several ahead of me,
When view turned weighty,
A truly sad sight to see.
Red-orange on snow at left,
A fox in snowy median strip
Intent on near lane, snow bereft,
Cringed each roaring wind whip.
Seemed primed for rush to death,
And as I approached I knew,
Its mate, furry lump, no breath —
I straddled it and onward flew.
Oh, but the expression of anxiety,
On fox’s face I didn’t expect —
A mark against human society
For fox emotions, no respect.
I know this other being
Experienced anguishing loss,
Its mate killed for not seeing
Car’s speed as it tried to cross.
I went hurrying on my way,
Thinking of what I’d seen,
Helpless to improve her day,
Only felt her pain so keen.
I don’t know if she stayed sane
And her grief smartly checked,
Or comforted her pal in vain,
And her own life fatally wrecked.
Next time I come this way,
I’ll look for the fuzzy spot,
Will it be one flatness asplay,
Or an Interstate double dot?
© 2010 R. Leland Waldrip
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|Reviewed by Carol Phelan Aebby
|What a wonderful writer you are! And of course the topic is blessed. This is a big problem and I admire you for showcasing it, and your effort to open the human heart to the very real feelings of animals.
Superb! With respect, Carol
|Reviewed by Michelle Mead
|:( :( :( I love foxes. :( :( :( How sad. How well-written that I feel like crying. You are very talented. How sad :(|
|Reviewed by Edwin Hurdle
|A well written piece.take care|
|Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan
|this is so sad but so well written and expresed-i wrote about the same as i see it every day as i drive to and from work|
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|Not a common topic, Leland; but you have certainly given me pause for thought. Your kinship and empathy with nature's creatures comes through clearly. Thank you. Love and peace to you,
|Reviewed by Ronald Hull
|Two friday nights in a row, as I returned home from a night of drinking with fellow faculty members about 11 pm, i rounded a bend with my heavy Tornado at 50 mph or so on gravel right next to my country home when from a dip and culvert sprung a mother fox and three young ones.
As I braked and went into a mighty slide they all made it past my headlights to the other side and I regained control of my car. Deja vu. Animals and drunks are creatures of habit.
And then in 1966, in my DeSoto with my grandmother aboard, I hit three squirrels individually while climbing the Cascade range. They seemed to be scrambling to get under my wheels. Haven't hit any critters since.
Armadillos rival tire strips alongside Texas roads. Never heard one squeal.
|Reviewed by Andy Turner
|Roadkill as Americans say to describe this.
In texas I heard a loud screaming, it was a creature I never knew existed. Armadillo, it had been hit by a lorry and was yelling in agony. Thankfully an American pick up came up, a bloke had a rifle and shot this unusual creature. That was in July 87 and it is still as fresh as if it has just happened.
|Reviewed by C. J. Stevens
|You say the things that others only think briefly, and you say them so well, so eloquently. One always says, Ah yes! in recognition.
|Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader)
|Well constructed piece of work, Leland. I will never forget seeing a few years ago on a much traveled street in the town where I live a squirrel had been hit as it tried to cross the road. What was different about it was that somehow the car just ran over its hind feet and it was soldered-like to the pavement watching the cars rush by him but unable to escape because his feet were gone, mashed into the asphalt. I have never gotten that picture out of my mind. Never will. I wanted to stop, but it was impossible, too much traffic. The best thing to happen was that it was hit fairly quick and put out of its misery.|