Saturday, May 30, 2015


by Mary Kennedy               
Naturally, we all brake for cute, cuddly cats and dogs crossing the road, but do you brake for other creatures?  I do! (sometimes to the annoyance of drivers behind me.) What do they expect me to do? Run over wildlife? Geez.
The other day, a slow-moving turtle was crossing the road. Luckily it was a back road without much traffic. This turtle was REALLY slow. Seriously, if he moved any slower, you could probably harvest his organs.
I decided to just put the car in park and wait. And then...oh no! I heard a car coming up the hill towards me--and towards Mr. Turtle who clearly had a death wish.  I grabbed a beach towel from the back seat, jumped out of the car and raced to save the turtle.
At that very moment, the car rounded the hill and I saw that it was a pizza delivery truck. A teen-ager got out and raced over to help me lift the turtle (who was surprisingly heavy) off the road. We deposited him in a neighboring field. I thanked the young man for helping me and said, "I'm glad you rescue turtles." He just grinned and said, "Of course." 
I insisted traffic come to a standstill the other day when I saved a raccoon trying to cross a busy road. (What was he thinking?) I became a temporary traffic cop, holding up traffic on 4 lanes so he could safely cross.
A couple of years ago, I famously rescued two baby geese who were separated from their parents and scooting down a busy highway. I saw their parents cross the road with their brood, but these two little rascals decided not to stick with the group and to beeline down the highway instead. A disaster in the making. People waited for the parents to cross the road with their baby geese but I was the only one looking out for these two "renegade" geese who seemed to be on a suicide mission.
I pulled onto the slow lane, put my blinkers on and chased these foolish babies for what seemed like several blocks. Cats were whizzing by me but miraculously, no one was hurt. I scooped up the geese and walked back on the concrete divider (it was a 4 lane highway). Now that I had the geese, I had no idea what to do next!! Luckily some workers at a pizza joint had seen the whole drama and came running out to help me. Apparently the parents and babies were fond of swimming in the pond behind the restaurant. So I went behind the restaurant, found the pond and deposited the babies who were thrilled to be reunited with their squawking parents.                                              
Last week-end, I spotted something green lying in the road in our neighborhood. While my husband stopped the car, I jumped out to see it was a snake. I peeled off my blouse (don't worry, it wasn't a hubba-hubba moment, I had a stretched-out old tank top underneath) and carefully lifted the snake out of the road and laid him in the grass at the entrance to a state park.  
So how about you? Do you brake for critters and rescue them when possible? When I told my friend about running down 4 lanes of traffic to rescue the baby geese, she said, "You're a good person, Mary. Totally insane, but a good person."
Mary Kennedy