I live in Austin, right smack-dab in the middle of the the state. The Heart of Texas. On a road trip it takes a whole day of driving to get outside of state lines, and when you’re driving westward, as we were on our way to Santa Fe for Thanksgiving, it can get flat-out boring after a while.
If you are squeamish, you may want to STOP reading now. There is no delicate way to put this, since there is no synonym in Webster’s Thesaurus for roadkill.
In my boredom, I began doing something I’d never done before; I whipped out my phone and kept a Roadkill Tally in the Notes.
I’m sure this isn’t a new car-game, but I think HASBRO could make money off of this. As I began adding things to my ever-increasing list, three things stood out to me:
1) There is a really wide variety of critters here in Texas.
2) The deer and rabbits disproportionately outnumbered everything else.
3) While there was a ridiculous amount of roadkill in Texas, there was a definite deficit of dead things in New Mexico.
This came up, of course, over cocktails with our friends when we finally arrived in Madrid. Randy had noticed that too, “Why do you think that is that when you cross into New Mexico there’s no roadkill?” Truth is, it’s not something you want to ponder too much, so we dropped the subject, but not before I dropped the bomb – I saw a dead Mountain Lion!
I had wanted to turn around and go back when I saw it, not out of morbid curiosity, but because I couldn’t believe my eyes! I’d never want to run into such an amazing, yet deadly, creature if he were alive. In the end, we didn’t go back because it’s not easy to turn around a motor-home towing a truck.
My Roadkill Tally:
30+ Deer, 7 Coyotes, 8 Opossum, 9 Skunk, 10 Raccoon, 2 Cats, 40+ Rabbits, 1 Mountain Lion, 2 Roadrunners, 2 Fox, 1 Giant Toad, 1 Owl, 3 Ring-tail Cats, 1 Armadillo, 1 Turkey Vulture. (Mind you, this is not counting “the indistinguishable.” Remember, I’m not morbid.)
I hope that Mountain Lion now has an endless desert with lots of prey, and no highways in his heavenly hunting ground.
*Note – Article title is respectfully filched from John Updike’s brilliant book.