Sunday, 31 March 2013

I have become Death...

To misquote Oppenheimer:
'I have become Death, the destroyer of birds'.
Well, a bird, to be precise - a female pheasant that met its demise in a most spectacular fashion as it ran headlong under the driver's side front wheel (there was a classic 'muffled thump' and 'momentary judder') of my car before it erupted from beneath in an explosion of brown feathers and mangled body parts that spread across the whole carriageway and no doubt left the black Vauxhall Astra directly behind us covered in the aforementioned feathers, bits of blood, pheasant brains and entrails, with maybe even a severed wing humorously sticking out of its front grille and flapping furiously in the wind.

As I watched in my rear-view mirror the spreading cloud of plumage receding into the distance, I wondered for a moment why the pheasant had done what it did. I came up with the following options:
  1. it had a death-wish;
  2. it had, having been egged on by its peers, tried to play 'chicken' with a Ford Mondeo...and lost;
  3. it had a personality disorder and thought it was a cheetah, capable of out-running a car travelling at 70 mph;
  4. it had been so excited about negotiating the westbound carriageway of the M65 that it just kept on running in celebration and...bang;
  5. it was the victim of a bored deity's idle doodling with life in all its varied forms.
Whatever the reason, and however horrifying the actual details are of the pheasant's death, there was, I eventually decided, a silver lining to this whole episode and, in a way, a real justification for my decision not to swerve manically onto the hard shoulder or stamp furiously on the brakes (and before anyone asks, I did brake a bit and I did think about swerving).
And that justification is...?
Well, put simply, it's in the interests of the survival of any species of bird (with a few, notable exceptions in Africa and Australia) that those of its own kind that have clearly forgotten what their fucking wings are for, be eliminated before they have an opportunity to add their stupidity to the gene pool.