Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Road Kill Poetry: Dead Gator Blues




I had been here for 70 million years,

when your ancestors did first appear.

Not much of a threat, more of a treat ...

a tasty snack that stood upright on two feet.



Our small brains didn't worry,

As you became less and less furry.

What we couldn't know,

was that your brain would grow.



80 million years of adapting to the way things were,

never prepared us for asphalt and a four wheeled metal blur.



If we'd only known what a human brain can do,

like create roads, cars, condos, tv, and tofu,



We'd have made it a point to increase our feedin'

... and neither Adam nor Eve would have made it out of Eden.



Okay, be kind, that's a 15 minute poem with no rewrite before publishing.





Poor thing.

I passed this dead gator on the road near Devils Hammock heading to work yesterday. It was freshly dead, struck by a car as it S-curved across the roadway.

Rich, red blood still seeped from the wounds, no clotting ... the heart may still have been beating when I turned around and stopped to photograph it.



We have a zillion gators in Florida these days, so one lost to a car is not a species issue, but it is still sad to me on an individual basis.

This gator had incredibly bad luck as this road just isn't that busy and it's only a narrow two lane road.



He should have made it.

27 comments:

Dani said...

Makes me wanna cry, I hope atleast it was a quick passing with no suffering.

crackercowlady said...

After gulping back tears, it made me MAD! Almost as angry as I was two days ago when I saw the smashed body of a medium-sized gopher tortoise in the middle of a main road in Sugarmill Woods in Citrus County. A 35 mph area!

Mark said...

I can't help but be sad when I see things like this. It's the same when I see one of our multitudinous deer lying dead on the road.

Once when a friend and I were driving we saw a dog nearly hit, and he imagined god saying, "Sorry, but this car thing is just not working out. You all are going to have to find another way to get around."

Hurricane Teen said...

That's a fine poem!
Very sad, yet true.
He should have made it.
Indeed, the boy ain't right.

The Troll said...

Did you skin it?

David said...

Sad story.

Poor gator.

Hopefully some other critters (vulture, raccoon, ants or fungus) will find great fortune and a much needed meal at the passing of the gator!

I just hate to see anything hit by a car. It's such a cold way to go.

jojo said...

I'M conflicted on those guys. One did eat my pug. but on the flip side i wish people would be more careful. i just read about a Panther getting struck down in Flamingo. That is #15 this year. and that is a species of concern... :( why can't people just slow the hell down and enjoy the world around them. Not run over it.

ok rant over!! :)

pablo said...

We probably have as many raccoons as you have gators, and everyone time I seen one dead on the side of the road I feel a twinge of sadness.

Emory said...

It is a sad day to see that. It does make you wonder where the gator was going though. I think it is too bad he didn't make it across the road. I wonder what the motorist thought as they were crashing into mother nature.

Emory said...

After further review of the picture I think someone went out of their way to run this gator down. I know if I was driving and saw a gator in the road there would be skid marks and I would be trying to get around it at the same time.

I swerve and hit the brakes trying to miss the squirrels that run across the street in my neighborhood.

elpbulls said...

Awwwww! No! Thats pretty sad and pretty bad luck to get hit on that stretch of highway. Love ya! See you soon.

P.S. I got a 96 on my Bio II lab mid-term!!

Floridacracker said...

Dani,
It's a cold blooded predator, but still too bad to end that way.

CCLady,
It's just not that hard to miss a gopher ... they were probably on their cell phone.

Mark,
If gas keeps rising we will!
I feel for the roadkill too.

HT,
Thanks! So true.

Troll,
Slightly illegal and I was on my way to work.

David,
The head was gone by the time I went past on the way home.


JOJO,
That would conflict me too. I always worry about that when I'm near water with the dogs.


Pablo,
Especially the baby coons.


Emory,
Maybe intentional, but they are low and fast and if the timing were right ... wrong? it would be over before you could brake.

Emma,
You go girl!!! Your Calculus For Dummies book came in yesterday.

Anonymous said...

FC-
Sorry to see that.... what Pablo said about the racoons same goes for here. As Thunder and STEB will attest to the large amount of road kill here is dangerous when on the bikes! First rider always points them out to the rest of the pack! How old do you think this gator was?
Lightnin

kevin said...

Did you get the tail? Seriously, it's too bad for the gator. I wonder if the car needs some front work.

robin andrea said...

That's very sad, fc. We've been doing a lot of driving lately, and I've noticed that the highways are literally littered with the unfortunate dead.

tai haku said...

Oh PF - that's horrible. Florida must have high DOR rates with all those reptiles.

On a brighter note have an arte y pico award for your continued awesomeness:
http://tai-haku.blogspot.com/2008/10/arte-y-pico.html

caroline said...

We are constantly dodging deer and turkeys at the moment around the Black Hills. You just don't think of gators as road kill around here, unfortunately the car almost always wins the contest with any of them, poor creatures.

On a positive note, some take to the sky and are safe from vehicles up there. I went up on the hogback ridge behind my school on my way home this afternoon and watched 3 large flocks of sandhill cranes riding the wind south towards the Platte. Gorgeous, gorgeous against clear blue sky!
Caroline in South Dakota

Freste said...

(me/ sniffs the cup FC was drinking from when he was penning the poignant poem)

Musta been good stuff!

Dagnabbit, that snaps my tighty whities when someone goes merrily along in their 8,000 pound tank and wipes out deer, raccoon, skunk, rabbit, squirrel, occasional bicyclist, dog, cat, turkey, coyote or anything else.

Karma is a good equalizer though.

Death should never be wrecklessly or casually imposed. JMHO

SophieMae said...

That's plumb sad. Seems like there's a good chance it was deliberate. People have no regard for life. It's bad enough when they deliberately run over snakes, but I've known people who get a kick out of running down coons, etc. Lotta sickos out there. I reckon they have too much leisure time. When folks had to labor all day to survive... I'm kinda preachin' to the choir, huh?

Floridacracker said...

Lightnin,
True dat! Definite cycle hazard. You guys okay? TL has been pretty quiet.

Kevin,
I think any low car probably got dinged good.
No tail for me.


Robin,
I always thought a roadkill count would make a good study for a kid sci project.


Tai,
Thanks!! When I get to work with a fast connection, I'm following that link!
Thank you again for the kind words.


Caroline,
Thank you for starting my morning with an image of cranes and a sky that was as clear as if I were there.
I think I could feel cool crisp air too.


Freste,
"Death should never be wrecklessly or casually imposed."
True.
I'm afraid my poetry skills are a bit mangled too.

Sophie,
Amen sister.

JG said...

As many times as they've scared the &*%^& out of me, you'd think it would be hard to feel sorry for a gator, but your pictures really got to me...and i loved the poem

Floridacracker said...

JG,
Thanks about the poem.
Same here, such a fearsome animal in the water,... a big one is anyway.
I suppose being able to feel sorry for a creature that would eat us if the opportunity presented itself is a sign of being human.

Alan said...

Was the car from Old Mississippi? ;)

Shameless Gator football joke at the expense of a living creature - have I no shame? Maybe Tebow could have healed him?

Seriously. Shame to see the gator die like that.

Ericka said...

"some take to the sky and are safe from vehicles" was i the only one picturing flying gators?

i sometimes think about the road as a blood-thirsty god who requires a great deal of sacrifice.

probably i should stop spending so much time alone in a car way too late at night...

Floridacracker said...

Alan,
Could be a Miss scout was passing by.

Ericka,
No, I picture them all the time :)
I think your road god analogy is pretty good.

Wren said...

I hate to see any animal killed by a car. It seems so pointless and unnecessary. And to think it might be deliberate - well, I can hope only hope if that's the case that what goes around comes back to the giver, and quick.

Sandra said...

Being a California girl I don't believe I'll ever get used to seeing gator road kill.

A squirrel committed suicide on me the other day using my minivan as a hammer. Thankfully my daughters didn't see him running off the curb or hear the squish under my tire.

I hate when they do that.