Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Turtle in the road

“Did you see that?” Jim asked. “Big turtle in the road.”

It looked like a crumpled brown paper bag stranded in the narrow space between the two lanes on Randall near Ice Cream Drive.

For a few seconds I felt that irrational need to have him turn the car around so we could go back and rescue the wayward reptile.

But I had a train to catch.
It reminded me of the time I was on the Great Western bike trail doing my usual Saturday ride from St. Charles to Sycamore.

On the way back, I saw a tiny raccoon staggering along the side of the trail. It was daytime and the little guy was alone so it was obvious his family had abandoned him.

I stopped for a bit to watch, contemplating how to rescue him.

I was in the middle of nowhere. No backpack. Carrying him while riding with one hand was not an option as it was still a good 10 miles to my car. And what would I do then?

So I left him. I didn’t like it much, but I left.

I did that same ride the following weekend.

And there, on the side of the trail, was that baby raccoon. Dead.

There’s a part of me that says it was abandoned because it was weak and unhealthy.

Nature is cruel yet practical when it comes to such things.

But I still felt like I should’ve done something.
It’s not as if that turtle could dash across a lane of traffic like a squirrel.

He was pretty much stuck.
If you live in the far west suburbs of Chicago and encounter an abandoned animal please take it to the Fox Valley Wildlife Center on Route 38 in Elburn.

I successfully rescued a baby duck once and they were extremely helpful in that matter.
Of course, that won’t help the turtle this morning.

I had a train to catch.
I am listening to: The Strokes – You Only Live Once
I am reading: Steinberg in the Sun-Times
And I am: Heartless