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Mark Atwood
Death and Hands
I was walking back to work from an errand, when I found a bird. It was one of those ubiquitous small black/brown birds (not a raven). It looks like it had flown into a window. It was thrashing around, with a wing limp and twisted, and was crying with pain.

I walked back to my Jeep, put on my work gloves, walked back to the bird, and gently picked it up and held it in my hands. I could feel the break in it's wing. It looked at me. I looked back into it's eyes. And then I broke it's neck. It gasped a few times, and then died in my hands.

This is the second time an animal has died in my hands, and only the first time that something has died by the strength of my hands. I've hit animals with a car, and I've been fishing and hunting before. I've dressed game. But this was something a little different.

It's such a little thing, but that bird was just a little thing too.

I wish I had had the power to end it's agony by repairing it's body. But I didn't. I had only one way to end it's pain, and I did the right thing.

But it still makes me sad.

Current Mood: distressed distressed

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daikitsune From: daikitsune Date: January 16th, 2003 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)


Our consciousness is something that can be both a joy and a curse sometimes...No other creature in nature would be at all bothered by seeing the bird suffering like that. The only moment of thought that would be given to it would be wondering if it might be good to eat. I think that the compassion that we as humans can feel is something beautiful, and I cherish it...However, having that compassion gives us the urge to act on those feelings. You had a responsibility to your compassion to do what you knew was right in this situation. It's one of those things that makes you pause and think, no? Sorry for the random meanderings of the mind.
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