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Ode to a Dead Beaver-Thing
or I Am the Grim Reaper (Sometimes)

A few days ago, I was on my lunch break at work which, due to my schedule, is around 2300 (11pm) when I came across something in the middle of the road.

I've already explained that it was late, but I should also let you know that this road does not get much traffic at all. It's out in the boonies directly on the South border of the Nashville airport (BNA), and the entrance is relatively hidden on the main road. It's almost like wandering into the shire or something, except with lots and lots more roadkill.

SIDE NOTE: I come across dead animals on this road more than I like, and sometimes they're actually still alive. It is because of this that I have gotten into the habit of being prepared for all possible outcomes whenever I drive on this road. My car is equipped with a spare blanket, non-latex gloves, water, and a knife.

When I see an animal on the side (or the middle as it sometimes happens) of the road, I pull over to check for vitals. Generally, the animals are dead at this point. There is nothing that I can do, so I pull them off the road and leave their bodies to be consumed by the elements. They're not using them anymore, so why not let the surrounding ecosystem benefit from their demise? At least something good will come out of it.

When the animal is not already deceased, I have 1 of 2 options: a) take the animal immediately to an emergency clinic and pray that I found it in time or b) put the animal out of its misery.

After around 3 or so years of  monitoring this particular road for wounded animals, I have only brought 2 dogs to the clinic, but I have also had to put 1 dog down. It was heartbreaking, and I never want to do it again, but I will if I have to. 

On this particular night, I came across an all too familiar sight on the road. There was an animal, freshly hit, laying motionless directly in the middle of the pavement. Initially, I thought it was another dog, because its size alone was reminiscent of a Labrador.

I pulled over expecting to find a deceased dog, but nope. It was a beaver. I have never once seen a beaver in my life before (up until that day, I had assumed they only existed in places like Alaska and zoos), so I wasn't even sure that my identification was correct.

First off, this beaver-thing was dead as a doornail. No vital signs whatsoever. Judging by his condition, I'd be willing to bet that he was dead shortly after being hit, but the hit itself did not kill him. It's a sad thought, but it is what it is. Can't change it now.

I took a picture (don't worry, I'm not posting it here), but it was so dark out that I couldn't really get a good one. That little beaver had a super cute face, though. I almost wish I could have gotten a good picture so I could show it to all of you.

Anyways, I grabbed my gloves, pulled him off the road, and it wasn't even a day later that his carcass had disappeared.

Good job, buddy. Your death had purpose.

All of that being said, be careful when you're driving, folks. You might hit a beaver, and they're just too cute to kill. Also, you know... they're kind of vital for the survival of the world.



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