Friday, September 26, 2008

Hand of Bruce

Ina Rd is wide, fast, and busy. There’s a generous bike lane and the road has been re-paved—so I can ride my commute route fast and with a sense of safety. A few miles before the real climbing begins, big trucks take Ina Rd East a few miles to the major North/South roads. There’s often an Armada of cement trucks rolling up Ina; I can hear them and I can feel the pavement move as they roar slowly past me. They always give me plenty of room, which I appreciate—and I know that they’re driving in the window of opportunity where lanes are clear and they can get where they’re going before the dash of impatient commuters.

As I start to pedal up Ina, among heavy construction to my right—and semi-trucks approaching from behind on my left—I spy in the bike lane a rabbit. Unlike all the other rabbits, snakes, birds, and skunks—this rabbit is not a bloody smashed pancake. He’s quite alive.

A second goes by as I roll past. Was that a rabbit? Sitting there right on the line between the bike lane and traffic? Yes, it was. I stop. I look back. Semi-trucks are coming up the road. The rabbit sits calm, eyes closed like asleep—breathing slowly but steady.

The rabbit will see me, run into traffic—and be killed. I’ll be killed if I’m not really careful that’s for sure. Some driver will see me and see the rabbit dart into traffic—they will drop their cell phone (everyone’s on their cell phone) and crash and kill someone else—or themselves. What else? Oh yeah—the rabbit will bit my hand when I go to pick him up. I’ll panic and fling him into traffic and he’ll be killed. I will die of rabies.

I guess what I’m getting to is that this is a really stupid thing for me to be doing.

He didn’t stir as I carefully, but with urgency, walked up to him (here come the cement trucks) got a few steps behind him—then grabbed him by the back of the neck and snatched him up into my arms. I made a fast step over so to avoid the trucks—and made a quick assessment. As far as I could tell, so far he had been unscathed. He in turn, opened his eyes, blinked, and looked at me with surprise.

I set him down up in the grassy big yard of house. He shook his head, blinked, propped up his ears—then started munching on the grass. Indifferent, he hopped away.

“I better wash my hand.” I thought as I got back on the bike. “Better not put my fingers in my nose or mouth—so I don’t get koodies or something…” But as my ride went on, I forgot this note to myself, and it was business as usual.

In the early evening I was in our backyard. I was grilling and throwing the ball for Callie. I went over to check on the trees I planted in early summer. In the drying and dying grass, I saw a little snake. He looked at me for a moment—then cautiously slipped away.

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