death be not proud

I’ve mentioned the fragility of man before, but I guess I didn’t give enough credit to how fragile some animals can be. Today, for instance, I was walking down a path when I came across some sort of small rodent. I don’t think it was a field mouse and it certainly wasn’t a rat, but I’m not well-versed in the array of local fauna. He was trucking along but I didn’t want him to run off the path into the leaves, so I blocked him with my shoe. He spun and encountered a wide puddle of murky water, but he proceeded to paddle into it.

I watched him swimming a bit and thought he was having fun, but eventually I realized he was struggling. I fished him out of the water (only a couple of inches deep, mind you) and placed him on the ground, but he had apparently swallowed some of the water. I tried to coax it out of him but he gasped for air and then died in my hand. I wasn’t sure he was dead because it had been such a tiny amount of water, but he definitely wasn’t moving anymore.

It was sad, seeing a somewhat cute little creature dying like that. But in the long run, if that was enough to kill him, he probably wasn’t going to survive more than a few days anyway. Oh Death, why do you mock us?

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