I ran over a mongoose on the way home from work, tonight. I really feel terrible about it. It just zipped out into the road, and there was nowhere to go. I definitely killed it. I probably should not have looked in my rear-view mirror right afterward, but I couldn't stop myself, and well, I hope it was fast and painless.
In an attempt to console myself, I thought about how they are an invasive species to Hawaii, and rationalized that maybe I had saved some birds. But that didn't really help. I like most critters and I still felt bad. Mostly, I hope I didn't orphan some tiny mongooses. (I really want to say "mongeese" but that is not correct.) As a child, my mother read Kipling's Rikki-Tikki-Tavi to me and it certainly left an impression. I don't have issues with them. I'm truly sorry I killed one.
This was my first roadkill. Years ago, I did hit a cat, but only the tip of his tail sustained damage. It was kind of a funny story, in retrospect. I was going down our street, and a cat ran across the street in hot pursuit of another cat. I braked and swerved but could not miss it entirely. There was a a witness who told the owner, "Dude, she couldn't help it. The thing just launched." I was always grateful for him, telling it like it was, in such a California-speak way.
When Miss Scarlett was in driver's ed, her teacher had a pretty funny mantra: "Don't Hit the Nene Goose." I can still remember her quoting that, over and over. It worked; she never hit one.
I guess the only way I can atone for this is to do a sort of a PSA. Here on the Big Island, things are frequently running out in front of cars. Please watch out for moongooses, pigs, goats, sheep, the Nene goose (our State Bird), the neighbor's cat, dogs, quail, pheasants, the neighbors' children . . . I guess that covers it.