Every single animal I killed was by accident. Well, except one. Okay, two. But I only considered killing one and I didn't! But one other may have died later. This is all sounding very shady, isn't it? Let me explain.
- I was about five. My cousins and I were playing with the new batch of kittens, unsupervised. Were any kids supervised in the 1970s? Anyway, I recall climbing a ladder to our attic, and I'm sure I dropped one of the kittens we were basically handling like toys. Remember Lennie Small in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. It was sort-of that kind of thing, minus the mice or men. Anyway...
- When I was about ten, my Mom let me have one of the fuzzy yellow goslings as a pet. I made a little fence in our farmyard. I dug a small pond and filled it with water. Classic farmboy stuff. After school one day, I returned home to discover a bantam rooster carrying around my gosling in its beak. That bastard rooster broke my goose's neck. I went completely postal and killed the rooster with a two-by-four. Yeah. Childhood anger issues.
- My third animal death, again involving a kitten, occured when I was about eleven. Let's just call this the La-Z-boy recliner episode. 'Nuf said. Yeah. Grimace. Not pretty. I had a complete anxiety attack.
- I hate turkeys. They peck. And they like to hang out in schoolyards. All puffed out with that disturbing wattle. They're terrifying. Believe me. Barely a teen, I returned home one day and one particulary agressive gangsta' turkey was waiting for me on our front step. So I chased it away then it chased me away then I threw a rake at it and broke its neck. Yeah I freaked. Not proud.
- I ran over a dog while on a date. We witnessed its prolonged death throes. She cried. I dry-heaved. The farmer came out and shot it. Worst. Date. Ever.
- After years of cleaning the fish bowl that my children repeatedly assured me they would clean every Saturday, I contemplated the perfect goldfish murder: a few drops of bleach. My conscience wouldn't let me though.
- We hit a moose. Little then, my kids were in the back seat. It floated, spectral-like, across the road on a foggy March night. In the split seconds before we rolled it into the ditch off our bumper, I debated: death by snowpacked ditch or death by oncoming traffic? I chose the moose. After we determined that everyone was unhurt and our vehicle had sustained only minor damage, I remember asking my kids: what did I say? My six-year-old son explained that I yelled MOOOOOOOOSE and my eight-year-old daughter noted that my wife yelled F*!K three times. Ah yes, family moments.