I was walking home from a movie
with my little sister one evening.
It had been raining.
It had been windy.
It was cold and dark.
There was debris on the road, and not very many cars passed us as we walked. I saw something on the road just as we passed in front of my school. Giving it a double-take, I asked my sister what she thought it was, and she said she thought it was a cat. I hoped it wasn't.
I stepped onto the silent road to check.
After pausing to consider, I grabbed a big stick to assist in me moving it, but soon realized it would not work. So I rolled up the sleeves of my thick Canadian winter coat, placed my warm dry hands between it's soggy limp body and the grainy cold pavement, lifting it up in the headlights of cars that passed on either side of me. Taking it over to the sidewalk, I placed it discreetly in the shadowed grass. Standing, still holding my hands out with palms up, I went inside my school to tell my janitor what had happened, and to please phone the SPCA for me. I went into the staff room and began to wash my hands. I washed with soap and hot hot water.
The feeling remained on my hands the entire walk home.
I do not like see animals hurt. I did this because I grew up with cats and I have two now. I thought, "This is somebody's pet that they love. I'd want anyone to do the same for my pet if they ever found her." I also did it because when I was younger I was on a road trip I saw something hideous. It was hideous not in sight (though it surely was) but in what it represented. We were driving though some town. In the middle of an intersection was a black bear; at least what used to be a black bear. Bloody tire marks surrounded it in all directions, it's deflated body a crumpled mess still right in the center. It had been there for a while. In my innocent youth I thought "Why doesn't someone stop to clean it up?"
but no one did. they drove past it.
...making the bloody tire marks stretch out even farther as the bear gave a silent plea to be removed from it's torment. take the time.
i hope you would too.