Thursday, October 25, 2007

Road Kill

Road Kill. I know, kind of a weird topic, but it's been on my mind because we had a dead deer near our house. Someone had hit a deer Tuesday night just a few houses away so that I had the unfortunate view of it from my kitchen window. And I do get the irony of this post following the one about Bambi.

On Wednesday morning we discovered it as did our dogs. It was interesting to see the dogs slowly circling it at first with their fur standing at attention. They really were unsure about it and wondering if it still may jump up at any moment and kick their butts. After much circling, they finally inched in to have a sniff. Once they realized that the deer was not going to move then they went over and over it with a fine-toothed nose. I'm sure it must've been fascinating for them to get an up close smell, since usually they only get within barking distance of deer.

Our younger dog, Suey, eventually just sat near it. She would get up and sniff once in a while and then just sit and whine a little. It was almost as if she was waiting for someone to come do something. The guy who is building next door, said it made him sad to see her sitting there crying. I don't know if she is capable of feeling sympathy for the deer or if she was simply just a bit confused by the whole event.

As soon as the kids got off the bus they spotted it and went tearing over to examine it. You'd have thought someone dropped a carnival ride off on the street with all their enthusiastic yelling and running. I could definitely see the similarities between them and the dogs. They were anxious and unsure at first, but then interested in looking at a deer so close up. They got to see the texture of it's fur, its antlers (it was a small buck), and it's hooves. It was a pretty clean road kill, thankfully, but there was still lots of "eeeewww" and "gross" and "yuck" to be heard.

Like little CSI detectives, there was much to be learned by observing the deer. Nat came back and said, "Mom do you know how big deer poop is?" and went on to give me the details of deer excrement circumferences.

The day before this the kids had found a dead bat which they examined with the same zeal. It's funny how excited they get about being able to see an animal up close and personal. Because of our cats, we often have dead birds and mice in our yard and the kids like to have little funerals for them and make little head stones out of a scraps of wood.

Some time ago we had a skunk road kill that the kids found equally fascinating. With the skunk, I hesitated a bit to let the kids go check it out. I mean what would my daycare kids' parents think when they were told they had an outing to go see road kill? But like the deer it wasn't a mess, so I thought what the heck. The stinky skunk smell kind of added to the excitement of that one, and I even went and looked at it with them. Skunks really do have cute little faces.

While it's sad to see one of our forest creatures, and especially Bambi, dead on the road, I think the kids actually learn a lot from it. I think I may even have a great idea for a new business: Lesley's Daycare and Road Kill Expeditions. What do ya think?

1 comment:

Holly said...

I love it! At our house, anytime there is an opportunity to turn something into a science-learning experience, we are so totally there! My son would love your place!