One thing’s for certain when you move to a small town: You can expect to see more dead animals in the road. It’s simple math. The less populated a city is with two-legged creatures, the more living space there is for the four-legged variety.

About the second week I moved here, I noticed a dead raccoon on the side of the road right around the corner from my home. Poor guy, I thought. Poor BIG guy. Not sure what he had been scavenging when he was alive, but I’m certain this bruiser of a raccoon didn’t die hungry.

Surely, someone would pick up his carcass – HEAVE-HO! — and dispose of it properly, I thought. Hey, don’t look at me . . . . eeewwww!! I’m a city gal at heart. We don’t do that kind of thing. But there must be some designated city worker in this small, critter-filled town whose only job is to harvest road kill, right?


Well, we’re going on two and a half months later, and believe it or not, that dead raccoon is STILL lying face-down on the side of the road! But thanks to the marvelous science of decomposition, it’s not so big anymore. (EEWWWW!) My stomach turns every time we pass it when I think about how many seasons that carcass has endured.

What amazes me is that no one seems to care. Complete indifference. Where’s animal control? Where are the city health inspectors, because surely it must be a health hazard by now? I see people walking right by the shrinking dead raccoon, lots of joggers, too. The people who own the home on the hill above the rotting raccoon wheel their trash out to the side of the road, faithfully, every week, and position their can within feet of that poor ’coon. I mean, would it kill them to just grab his formerly bushy tail and HEAVE-HO him into their trash can? What’s wrong with these rural folks?? Have they no respect for their road kill?

It must smell something awful by now. I wouldn’t know. I keep the windows rolled up tight when I pass by. But I must confess: I do look. I can’t help myself. It’s that weird car-crash-mentality thing. No one wants to see dead bodies, but when you pass a car wreck, you can’t help but stare, half-expecting (and half-hoping, right, all you sickos??) to see a head roll.

Today, there was a dead squirrel in the middle of the road in our housing tract. We may as well dress him up with garland and holly because I suspect he’s going to be there for a while. Quite possibly until the ’coons come home.