I read a blog yesterday where a particular blogger, a young fella, bereaved the loss of his dog. What was even sadder is he referred to the individual who hit this beloved pet as "evil". This made my mind begin to reflect. There are a lot of evil people in this world. There are also a lot of innocent people in this world. So, if one hits a dog that another someone has allowed to run loose or has gotten loose without the knowledge of it's owner, is one evil? If they fail to seek out and inform the owner, are they evil? Youth lacks experience and wisdom regarding both good and evil and forgiveness.
What I consider more evil was my sudden reflection over all the animals I may have inadvertently demolished on my daily paths to destinations important to only me. Once, I was driving home in the middle of the night. It was very late, dark and my 1973 Toyota didn't have the best of headlights. I saw a gigantic raccoon as it raised up in what appeared to be a "noooOOOOoo" pose just as I hit it head on. When I pulled into the driveway, the beast released it's death grip from the front of my car and plopped dead into the driveway. It was huge, and it seemed to have been quite angry at the circumstances based on it's final expression. But it was gone. My brothers both fell into hysterical laughter as I tried to get them to help me recesitate the vermin. It was an ongoing family joke for years as to how many rednecks were inspired to follow me home - a gal with an old car and a raccoon mounted on the front - what a catch. I could have been missing all my front teeth and still been a great find!
On another occasion, I ran over a tiny puppy. It somehow got tangled in my wheel and was released to fly over the front of my car. On that occasion, I did stop to confess my evil deed. I knocked on the door of the old house and this 200 year old man came to the door and invited me in. I was in shock, I went in and sat down as he poured me a cup of coffee - I don't drink coffee but this was my first kill and I needed a drink! So, I confessed my evil deed - "I ran over your tiny puppy and I threw it all over the road - I must get you another one!" This wise old man said "did you intend to run it over or did it run in front of you!?" Of course, it ran in front of me, I couldn't have prevented the accident but still.... "Well, young lady, puppies are sometimes out of control as was this one, it's o.k. that you ran over it instead of killing yourself"! Forgiveness!? What a divine gift left for us to utilize. At this point, I broke into body shaking sobs and could not return to work the entire day. I spent half a day in the kitchen with this old man it was one of the best days of my life short of the dehydration for crying at the forgiveness.
Once, my husband and I were driving along a country road and saw a dead skunk in the middle of the road...dead skunk in the middle of the road...you got your dead cat and you got your dead dog on a moonlit night you got your dead toadfrog (I would credit the author for this ditty but can't remember if it was Dr. Hook or someone else)...sorry for the diversion but that's one of my favorite tasteless tunes. Anyway, on top of this dead skunk was a very alive and tiny little baby skunk. As I was picking it up, a farmer came from the other direction and stopped and said "wuzat?" and I held up the tiny prize to show him. He nearly screamed as he squeeled tires. I think I heard something about crazy women being yelled, but can't remember the exact details. We kept this skunk as a novelty pet until it was old enough to fend for itself. It was a great way to empty the house of unwanted guests - turn it loose, watch them run.
Then there were the three deer I have hit. The first one became $14.00 per pound meat for the freezer after paying the damage to the truck. The second survived I assume and the last survived. The last managed to break my windshield and put a nice dent in the side of the truck on it's way to freedom. It actually hit me. I had stopped and it was running and tried to jump over the truck and missed, kicking the windshield. I think it still laughs to this day.
Add to the three deer the many possums, cats and birds. The worst are the birds that fly into your car- don't deny it- you've been there - they hit your windshield and you look in the rear view mirror saying a brief prayer for their lives or their forgiveness whichever is warranted as you watch them bouncing off the road- feathers flying all over the place - little tiny baby birds screaming at you from the power lines - "YOU'RE EVIL!"
For those of you who have lost loved ones to road incidents, I know it is not humorous. I have lost my share of beagles, coonhounds, cats and chickens to sometimes thoughtless and sometimes very regretful drivers. But I do not consider those drivers evil. They simply were in their car, on the road when these creatures got in their path. I am not sure about God's overall plan but I am pretty sure He knows our hearts and He knows the design and fate of all of us including these creatures. If we can't forgive someone for taking a beloved pet even though they did not intend to, how can we forgive people for the greater sins in our life? It has to start somewhere and it all goes back to loving one another. We love our pets; I love mine with all my heart, but I love my fellow man just a tad bit more. Yes, man will more likely hurt me, deny me, even betray me, but he's my brother and if God can forgive ME, I believe I can find a way to forgive him.
Snow Tire and Frozen Daffodil Festival
2 years ago