Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday Morning Looking Down

I was walking across a highway overpass when I came across a tiny, little vole. It was on its back, moving its little legs in slow motion. It looked like it did not realize it was upside down with its little white belly facing straight up.

It had a tiny, little mouth that would open and close, in rhythmic synch with its little legs.

The poor, little vole was dying, on the cold, hard macadam of a pedestrian walkway off to the side of an immense overpass that spanned a six-lane highway that roared beneath us with traffic racing by at seventy miles per hour. It was all so incredibly noisy and the sky was grey and it was drizzling on a chilly Sunday morning.

I felt sorry for that helpless little vole so small it would have fit easily in the palm of my hand. And I wondered how it ever got to be so very far away from its home in the meadow.

There it was, gasping out its last breaths, upside down in the cold, the grey and the damp, all alone.

I saw myself in that rodent, and I gave thought to putting it out of its misery, but I never did. Instead I walked on hoping to reach the safety of the other side, asking myself a question: “Where is its guardian angel?”


Triangle Man said...

I'm sure the guardian angel had been perched nearby and arrived shortly after you departed. And by guardian angel I mean red tailed hawk.

Bissage said...

My return trip brought me, once again, past that poor little guy, about twenty minutes later.

It was still alive, exactly where it was before, only it was walking and gasping, upside down, more slowly than before. I was disappointed and saddened to see that no hawk (or any other creature) had made off with it, in my absence.

You see, that vole was very isolated where it lay, and its location on the overpass was very inhospitable – cruel even – and I knew from the very start that nothing would come along to save him, or me, for that matter. I knew it because I could feel it in my bones.

Whenever people get that feeling, they are never wrong.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Instead I walked on hoping to reach the safety of the other side, asking myself a question: “Where is its guardian angel?”

You should be afraid, its guardian angel is probably what killed it; happens all the time.

Bissage said...

Anybody pick up on the suicidal ideation?

Come on!!!


[pregnant pause]

Well, hello darkness my old friend!


Triangle Man said...

Oh, I get it now! The ... er ...vole is a comment on the basic duality of man. Much like a peace pin on a flak jacket. Right? No, wait... All we are is dust in the wind... Like sands through the hourglass so are the dyas of our lives...

Bissage said...

No! No!! No!!!

The bread is his soul!

He's trying to buy back a loaf of his soul!

Triangle Man said...

What? Where?

He thought people were like a bus driver... no... they're the bus. They're the vehicle that gets you here. They drop you off, then they go their own way, continue on their own journey. The problem is, we keep trying to get back on the bus when we should just be letting it go.

Meade said...

I'll bet the poor vole was thrown under the bus by someone on the bus - someone who didn't even have a ticket to ride!

It happens all the time now that the information superhighway has become such a big self-important deal.

A friend of mine who reads the internet told me that Greyhound had to cut corners by replacing hospitality personnel with pre-Y2K electronic scanners. Greyhound didn't want to do it but they had to. They were forced.

And who pays the price? Innocent sight-challenged voles like you and me.

Bissage said...

This blog post has an epilogue. Mrs. Bissage took the dog for the same walk, this morning, and saw three dead voles. Not on the overpass like the one I wrote about, mind you, but they were on the same bike path. She said two were together and one was off by itself.


I hope we don’t have some kind of Andromeda Strain thing starting up over here in USDA Zone 6b.


[ makes dismissive hand gesture ]

[ looks around nervously ]

[ decides to go scrub entire body with bleach, just in case ]