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Possum. Respect All Animal Life. I Brake for Animals.

Animal rescue usually means saving an animal for an abusive situation or grave physical condition. We have seen the dramatic and tear-inducing photos on the web, and I have displayed some of them here in this very blog. But, animal rescue could also mean preserving an animal in its good health and form. I reckon in this form it can generally be considered respect for animals.

Last week, I rushed out to get some urgently needed medication from the drugstore before they closed. This unplanned foray into the night put me in a frantic pace that built on itself even after I have made it to the store before closing. Sometimes, you can find yourself whipped into a frenzy and you just keep on going, and going.

Evidently, I had my foot on the gas pedal a bit too much as I came down the hill leading to my home when I noticed that familiar pig-faced animal called the possum in the middle of the street. It must have judged that it was safe to cross the street then, for no one was in sight. But, lo and behold, I was there in an instant and it froze in its place rather than continue on to the other side of the street. Many moons ago, I have resolved in my conscience that I will never run over an animal with my car.

I haven't slammed on the brakes that hard since God knows when. The screeching sound of the tires reverberated between the houses as my car came to a sudden and complete stop approximately five feet from the possum. As if on cue, the possum came into view on my left side as it continued on its way into the darkened bushes of the house across the street. Possums are not good-looking animals but they must be respected nevertheless. They have a life that is meaningful to themselves, and their young. Unfortunately, there are some among us who will not brake for animals, as if stepping on the brakes is an arduous task, or a couple of seconds is too much of a delay even if it meant saving an animal's life. Believe it, we live among people who will not make the effort.

Well, I don't know where that little fellow is now. He must be somewhere in the bushes and most likely he was out again in the last few nights. Such is his life, and I am glad that I didn't take it away that dark night last week.

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