It’s that time of year when the squirrels ignore their natural fear of human machines and focus instead on their survival mechanisms. But it backfires, as they rush from nut to tree, darting in front of oncoming cars. Mile after mile, gray tails flap on the pavement, fanned by the turbulence of passing vehicles.

I hit one today. It came out of nowhere, along side my car and eventually under. The dull thud sickened me and I exclaimed instinctively, “I’m so sorry.” Did that help anything? Don’t know, but it was a genuine and visceral. Survival of the fittest? Perhaps. Did I need to slow down? Always. Could I have avoided it? Probably not. But it left a bad feeling in my heart.

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