Wandering Thoughts

January 8, 2009

An Incident at Arawhata Road

Filed under: Going Places,Surfing — terence @ 7:15 pm
Tags: , ,

Andy was driving too fast, he always did back then. A hundred and fifty kilometres an hour down a straight but perilously thin country road. Jeremy was in the front, paler than usual. His left hand was holding his right, squeezing it tight. I was in the back, hunched in something approximating the brace position.

Things sped past: letter boxes, trees, cows, fences…


A black shape hit the windscreen and bounced up into the boards on the roof.

“What the Fffff…”

“Holy Shhh…”

Jeremy and I swallowed our profanities. Andy was Christian. Swearing pissed him off. He drove faster when he was angry.

“Pukeko”, he said as he slowed the car to a halt. “Lucky it didn’t smash the windscreen”.

“Heck yes,” Jeremy’s face was inches from the point of impact.pukeko_new_zealand

We got out of the car. The bird was still there, wedged in under the boards. Gently, remorsefully maybe, Andy pulled its limp body free and placed it on the road.

“I should run it over, put it out of its misery.”

“Run it over?!?” Shock was giving way to anger now. I liked Pukekos.

“Put it out of its misery?!? The bloody thing is already dead. It just hit the goddamn windscreen at something approaching the speed of sound. Trust me, there is no misery left to put it out of. The. Bird. Is. Dead!”

My mouth hadn’t even had time to close after the last exclamation mark when “the bird” took the opportunity to disagree.

It stood up, swayed, took a couple of unsteady steps, shook its head a few times, took one look at the three unshaven humans looking at it, and sprinted off into the bushes.

[Image from Wikipedia Under Creative Commons. More info here.]


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