This morning I had a chance to help out a baby crawling alone across the bike path in the rain.
It was raining when I got up to check the weather for my bike commute. It was still raining when I brought my bike in off the balcony and when I got downstairs and rolled out. It rained all the way in to work, which was refreshing because it brought the temperature down 10 degrees or so.
OK, so the road grit on my water bottle nozzle wasn’t so much fun, but I probably needed more roughage in my diet anyway.
And when I was rolling along on the bike trail, I came across the baby–a one-inch long box turtle whose shell had been chewed up around its head. It was smack in the middle of the path and pulled in as I rolled past, staying that way when I circled back around to shepherd it to the other side.
Because of the rain, there weren’t many people out, so I took my time to park my bike, walk over, lift up the turtle and place it in the dense shrubs on the side of the path it was walking toward. This made me feel much better than my wildlife encounter two days ago on the ride home from work.
I came across a chipmunk lying on its side, twitching on the edge of the path. I braked and circled back to see what the problem was. As I pulled up to park my bike, I could see blood around the little guy’s mouth and he writhed again. For the last time. By the time I walked over to him, he was dead. I felt I couldn’t just leave him out in the path to possibly get run over by a biker, so I found a stick and pushed him off into the foliage at the edge of the path.
Moving his limp body, I couldn’t help but see images of Barky’s limp body in the back room of the vet’s office and think to myself that this has got to end, this dying. And then, last night one of our best friends called to say that she’d had to put her dog down earlier that night.
But this morning my faith was restored by one tiny terrapin.