It began as quite a lovely evening.
Dusk was approaching. The sun was setting beautifully. Birds were singing. Crickets were chirping. Flowers were yawning. Trees were swaying.
I was driving along Geddes Avenue, content with life and even the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit. I had just finished a satisfying jaunt through a small portion of the 123-acre Nichols Arboretum. I had no pressing time commitments and nowhere particular to be, so I decided to take the long way home and swing by the grocery store to pick up (yet another) gallon of milk.
As I drove along the winding, tree-enveloped road, my car began to magnetically attract a trailing line of vehicles whose drivers no doubt were beginning to grumpily ponder who the slowpoke going 25 miles per hour was.
I reached the top of a large hill and began descending. A reflective road sign flashed "Braking Required" as my headlights bounced off of it. I let myself coast partway down the long incline before beginning to brake.
As my car slowed, the car behind drew closer. I let my foot off the brake and resumed coasting.
Once again, my car began to gain speed.
A small, furry creature darted into the road.
My reaction was swift.
I braced myself and anxiously listened.
I had missed it.
I had missed it!
Yes, yes, I had definitely mis---
The sound was as if a dozen sticks were clattering between the rear tire and the tire well.
I glanced into my rearview mirror. Fur was snowing everywhere in the headlights of the following car. I'm quite certain the driver had to activate the windshield wipers.
I drove onward.
The realization of what I'd done began to hit me.
I had just added to Michigan's outrageously high rate of road kill.
I had just (albeit unintentionally) slaughtered a bunnyrabbit.
I continued to drive, my guilt inwardly diffusing.
Arriving at the grocery store, I turned into the parking lot. Ahead of me, I saw a shop next to the grocery store I'd never noticed before: "Tortoise and Hare."
"Tortoise and Hare?" I thought hysterically. Wahhhhh. My conscience became increasingly aggravated.
I located a space and turned into the parking spot. The lady with the car next door stopped loading her groceries and eyed me and my car as I pulled in. I knew she was wondering whose blood was coating the side of the car and whether she ought to immediately run for dear life or take the time to first record my license plate number.
I turned the engine off and removed my keys from the ignition. I sat still for a moment, preparing myself for the gore I knew I was about to behold. I took a slow, deep breath.
With much dread, I opened the door.
I stepped out, casting my eyes toward the rear wheel of my car in utmost trepidation.
I blinked and looked closer.
I examined the tire. A small white mark with what seemed to be the tiniest remnants of fur was all I could find.
The lady next to me continued to load her groceries.
I pressed the lock button on my key fob and watched my car's lights affably blink at me.
I stood for a moment in silence.
Rest in peace, Mr. Bunnyrabbit.
And into the grocery store I went.