Friday, October 29, 2010

Frog and Traffic

It was suicide--I knew it was.

There was nothing I could do but watch and wait for the inevitable to happen on the rain swept morning highway packed with other commuters headed on their way to businesses, schools or other places of labor to spend their day.

It was still night even though it was morning. Made darker still by the low-hanging graphite colored clouds pouring rain down upon the landscape.

The headlights of my car reflected very little of the wet, soggy scenery back to me.

Although my speed was significantly reduced from the normal 50 to 60 miles per hour--even creeping along at 15 mph there was no hope.

I first saw it as a streak of white bounding in front of me. It continued with some regularity bounding across the road with all of the traffic.

A small animal, I presume a small frog, crossing the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the height of the predawn rush hour. It was bounding up into the air and back down again. Playing a real world game of Frogger--only this time there would be no resurrection for round 2. The consequences this day were permanent.

In the steady rain even with the wipers removing the water from the windshield only moderately efficiently, it was easy to see this small creature and consider its impending fate on the three lane wide highway.

I was saddened.

But, I am always saddened by the carnage along the roads.

I wonder if the frog had a last thought as the tire of the car in the lane next to me transformed it into a two dimensional creature like a cartoon drawing.

What is it like to be alive--and then not? That fast.

I looked down the road at the miles of red tail lights strung out before me like so many Christmas lights. I turned up the radio to see how bad the delay was going to be this morning and worked to remove the thought of that ill-fated road crossing from my mind.

Still, it haunts me a little.

I don't like unhappy endings.

The endings where the underdog fails--and then dies.

What chance does a small frog have against a car on a parkway?

The same as a cat or a dog or a raccoon.


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