Saturday, July 19, 2008


Stuck in a crawling queue of traffic on the way to work, I spotted a corpse in the gutter. It was bigger than the others that usually litter the road here - squirrels, rabbits, birds and sometimes foxes. At first I couldn't work out what it was, but as the queue crept forward and my car drew level with the corpse I could see that it was a young deer. It was a sleek little thing with glossy reddish-brown fur. It lay curled up into a semi-circular shape, with three of its legs tucked up under its body. Its head pointed out into the road and where its nose should have been was a bloody hole as if the tip of the animal's snout had been rammed back in on itself. One of its forelegs had been ripped clean off and lay neatly, absurdly, at a right angle in front of the fawn's face. The shoulder end of the leg was a pinkish, stringy pulp like corned beef. The animal's eyes were closed.

On the way back home I saw that the day's traffic and the crows had reduced the corpse to a small mush of raw hamburger meat and a few scraps of skin and fur.

Around 3000 people a year die on Britain's roads. They pick those bodies up and take them away.

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