Friday, May 31, 2013

Privilege to Drive

Today I started off the second truly summer-feeling morning with my drive to work. As life and dealing with humanity at large would have it, the optimism has been stolen from me and replaced with sorrow and disgust.

Never in my life have I struck a turtle with my vehicle. I have, however, witnessed people blatantly killing these defenseless animals with their trucks (always a truck, since people in Maine need to have them, even though they aren't ever using them for transporting anything; overcompensation runs rampant here). This morning was another one of those occasions.

I will paint a quick picture of the event for you so that you are aware that these things do happen, and people driving vehicles can be - and often are - cruel. I was at the head of a long line of vehicles, five or six, and saw the turtle up ahead, nearly to the other side of the road. I swerved to the breakdown lane to pull over and move it safely out of the way. The cars behind me all moved clear of the animal, and I went to get out of my car. It was then that the last truck in line, a large cream colored beast, decided that since I was getting out to help, it would clip the turtle and speed away, unaccountable.

By the time I made it to the animal, its head had been run over and it was dying, on its back, it had been thrown around so violently. Its blood stained the opening of its shell as well as the asphalt where it tried to travel to the other side, perhaps to start a family, or to make a new home in one of the many local ponds. Alas, its life was taken by a driver who did not deserve the privilege to operate a moving vehicle. All I could say as I laid the creature in the grass on the side was, "I'm so sorry."

If you see a turtle in the road, please don't hit it. These creatures are growing scarce, and they truly do not have the means to get out of the way. They deserve our respect. It is our duty to watch over these animals when technology unbeknownst to them is plowing through their habitats. In closing, if it was you who struck the turtle, I say shame on you. Was wherever you were going in such a hurry worth the life of this creature?