I was talking with a friend several weeks ago about how to avoid animals in the road. It seems the groundhogs, chipmunks and squirrels are out in force this spring and it is my highest intention to avoid them. I was also telling her that when I see something up ahead in the road, (either looking like it wants to dart out or running back and forth), I start saying out loud to it, “Make a better choice”, hoping that it picks up on my mental signal. Then she shared with me her technique: she beeps the car horn at them. She confessed that sometimes she felt a bit foolish doing this, but that it really worked.
Well, I have been trying it since she told me, and I am very happy to report that it really does work….much quicker than the mental-telepathy bit. Even when I see an animal way up ahead, I start beeping and it is the perfect thing to get the critter to move quickly out of the road.
It’s interesting to me that I had a similar uncomfortable feeling, (as my friend’s), when I started beeping at animals. I felt self-conscious, like the drivers around me might think, “What is she doing? Honking at no one?” and even without another car around, I had a sense that some faceless, “adult” person was going to say, “OK, that’s enough Mary. Don’t go crazy here.” To get over this, I began beeping as soon as I saw an animal in or near the road (no matter how far away they were) and made a game of it.
I confess that I mostly encounter animals in the road, on back roads (without many or any cars around), but I am no longer afraid of that “stepping out of line” and looking like a foolish driver/person feeling, because this little game is saving lives, and making warm weather driving much more enjoyable.
It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age. Margaret Mead