I backed over a duck last night. Miley had brought it near my car, and I guess it hid there are all day. When I moved the car, I crushed it.
I was very upset about it, and I still am.
I decided the only thing I could do is give a proper funeral. I had seen fox tracks the night before about 30 yards from a grove of aspen. As I’ve noted before, I want my own ashes spread in an aspen grove. Quaking aspen are among the first real trees to colonize a pasture or clear-cut in the forest succession. I want my elements to break down and become part of the aspen, which will feed grouse while they live, and then as they decay, they will feed the oaks and hickories and maples that come with the maturing forest.
I placed it there in the grove.
This is the duck that used to eat from my hand. The tamest of the lot. It had a good life, swimming and foraging as ducks do.
But it is gone now.
My only hope is that maybe a young fox that is just dispersing from his parents’ territory will come by and enjoy a free meal.
That’s all I can hope for.
This is my penance for my killing.
Pay it forward.
I am an odd fellow mourning the death of an animal like a duck.
If it were a wild animal or a real farm bird, that would be a different matter.
But it’s too much like family to eat.
So it must be passed along into the carbon cycle.