Death and Salesmen

Don’t think that sales is an innocent and sterile practice conducted in friendly shops and clean offices in towns and cities.  Oh no…beware, future salesmen…it is indeed a jungle out there.

In fact I seem to be stumbling upon death with uncomfortable frequency recently.  On my little walks — I take walks frequently throughout the day as a way of finding balance in my being — I have been coming across piles of bones and things.  Perhaps after discovering one or two, I have been focused more on looking down at the path than up in the trees and so seeing more of what has always been there anyway.  I don’t know, but I do know that my walks have taken more time lately has I have had to stop and investigate a the remains of fur and bone.

Occasionally a frog or a bird, too.

I think I am seeing mostly raccoon or possum carcases.  The bones are the right size.  The fur dirty grey and brown.  It is hard to tell and I don’t really want to pick at them.  But I can’t help asking myself things like, why here?  Why now?  Why is this pile of dog-sized bones here just to the side of this trail?

Last week near the Carlos Avery Wildlife Area in Anoka County I found what must have been the broken skeleton of a very young deer at the base of a large red pine.  I went to that pine, incidentally, to see if I could detect any remains of a dead eagle I found in that same spot a year ago.  That tree is seeing at least a death a year at that pace.  Some bad luck for the tree.

I have been taking pictures of some of these, but decided that they all look alike and I stopped after finding a young rabbit two weeks ago.  The rabbit might have been a couple weeks old and was stretched out calmly on patch of washed-out asphalt near the river in Mendota.  A picture seemed disrespectful even though the rabbit was the most intact specimen I had found.  He looked clean and relaxed, but dead of course.  I wished him well wherever he might be now eating lettuce and hopping about.

And sometimes you don’t get a chance to take pictures anyway.  A couple days ago a yellow finch darted out a bit too confidently in front of my car and died with a soft tap my bumper.  I can’t even begin to tell you how disappointing that feels.  Such a silly accident, one that finches are prepared to understand.

I have even pulled people from lakes who didn’t make it…yes, true, I wasn’t on a sales call, but when you’re in sales you’re always on a call.  (Remember that.)

So now, to balance things a little, I am going for a walk.  I know a place where I can almost always count on seeing a deer or two.  Mostly I see a doe and her lightly-speckled fawn.  Seems late in the year for such a young fawn.  I worry about these deer anyway.  They don’t seem to have much common sense in a deer kind of way.  The fawn is just a little too trusting and curious.  I will feel quite sick if I find it dead along the trail one day.  But I guess that’s the way it goes.  No need to get philosophical about things as real as that.

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One thought on “Death and Salesmen

  1. Pingback: A Little Tour in Yellow

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