I ran past a dead raccoon the other night.
In my quest to expand my running times and distances, I am trying to add variety to my paths. I have a few favorites though, particularly close to my house.
On Monday night, I began my usual trek out to the main road, hoping to get in a few miles before yet another round of storms pounded the area. I was greeted with a smattering of downed limbs and branches and one very dead critter on the side of the road.
The smell of rotting corpse is not new to me. I spent years covering crime as a profession.
However, already knowing a smell doesn’t make it any less unpleasant. On my way back home, I sprinted past at top speed and held my breathe.
It also bothered me that no one had come to give this little fellow a proper burial. He lay curled in the fetal position, eyes open as if he was well aware of the speeding Buick about to end it all.
I realized it would be difficult to perform this task along a busy roadway, although I believe all creatures deserve dignity. This includes those that think your garbage is a gourmet buffet.
I had a couple people ask me if this was the now-legendary raccoon who was given a memorial in Toronto. My response was that I didn’t think a deceased animal would qualify for a passport, unless I’d really missed big changes to federal laws. I also saw no flowers or signs of a makeshift tribute.
For now, I will likely avoid this spot until the nice folks from the city stop by and give him a lift to that big garbage pile in the sky.