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Was it my fault?

india Updated: May 16, 2012 23:23 IST
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An incident last week has left me in great shock. A squirrel danced down a tree when I was taking a left turn. It scuttled towards me and a deadly accident happened. The poor little animal was crushed.

I don't know how it came under my left foot. "It happens," said someone to comfort me. I always believed their instincts were very good. Why could it not just dodge past me?

I stood still, thinking how it could happen - this ghastly death. Haven't I stepped on a kitten before, or a biggish mouse?

"It happens." The words were like a hollow drum. How many such squirrels have died like this? How far back in time should we go before we can enumerate such deaths?

Someone also told me that old age blunted their instinct. That means I did not cut short its life much. Will it give me relief if I say no kids waiting for it at home?

Can I call this an accident? If I do, this makes me feel safe legally because I had the right of way.

A friend advised, "Go to a temple and donate money for the animal's soul." Good suggestion, but would I have done this and got out of the matter if it were a close friend?

No, I shall do nothing of the sort. I will feel sorry, just sorry, for the animal as long as my feelings burn. I shall not allow any other emotion to be overlaid on the burden that I shall carry along. If I could not be its companion in life, I shall not desert it in death.

Was it John Donne who wrote: "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less … Any man's (squirrel's) death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And, therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

Praise be for little kindness!

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