14 May 2009

Just One of Those Freaky Things


So two days ago I'm on my big 16k powerwalk. When I go on these long walks as I've been doing lately, I like to take a backpack with me so I can bring things like my phone, camera, notebook, asthma inhaler, water and collapsible critter rescue case. I bring the latter because being all about the critters as I am I tend to see a lot of them when they are in need (I present the 14 critters currently living in my house as Exhibit "A") and one should always be prepared.

Something else you should know about me is that I am NOT USED TO these walks yet, and by the time I get past the 10k mark I start losing my grip on reality. I know this will pass and I'll soon be jumping around everywhere full of energy, but right now I'm in that adjustment phase of my fitness program where it's more like a Bataan Death March every day and I am in a blistery delirium. I don't have much energy left to expend on lengthy explanations or needless chatter.

So, I was walking along, as I've said, and in a flash of a moment a cyclist came along and just at that moment a bird erroneously stepped into his path and bad things happened. And it all happened right next to me. I gasped loudly and immediately ran towards the bird. The cyclist heard my gasp and came cycling back to where I was. Here's the conversation that happened next:

CYCLIST: What happened?

ME: You hit this bird. I work with the local bird sanctuary and I'm taking her there immediately (as I was saying this I pulled the collapsible critter case out of my backpack).

The truth is that I don't currently work at the local bird sanctuary but I have volunteered there and I knew it was the right place to go. But that would have taken too much energy to explain.

CYCLIST: (Looking bewildered) The bird sanctuary? Where is it?

ME: Merelbeke (a suburb about 10 minutes drive away).

CYCLIST: (Looking slightly frightened) I'm really sorry.

ME: (In an official tone - I'm not sure why) It's not your fault. It was an accident. I must go now.

And with that I walked quickly away with the injured bird in the critter rescue case. It was only much later that it occurred to me just how bizarre the whole thing must have been for the cyclist. He accidentally hit a bird and then literally within seconds someone was there from the local bird sanctuary to collect it. He must still be marveling at the efficiency of Gent City Services.

Unfortunately the little bird died a few minutes later. Possibly in large part as a reaction to the sheer absurdity of the situation.


Lilacspecs said...

I'm not a huge fan of birds, but I swear, I've seen more poor, mangled little birds in and around Gent than I ever have anywhere else. Although that could be because I've never walked/biked so much anywhere else so I never noticed.

Lydia said...

How lucky those little critters are to have someone like you looking out for them. I don't know what I would have done in that situation, I would have felt so helpless.

Anonymous said...

Hello fellow vegan expat! (I'm in the NL.) This story made me crack up (despite the sad ending) because this is exactly what I would have done.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I feel awful for any animal that gets hurt except for wasps...they can all die....this was a wonderful story and I'm sorry the little peep pooped...the biker WILL think twice I'll bet from now on...found you from Lilac Colored Glasses...like your style and will add you to my blogroll!

Oh, really applauded your Carrie post too!

Suzy said...

The cyclist will talk about the story for years based on the fact that you 'showed up' so quickly.