Walking toward our eastbound train at Chicago's Union Station one evening last week, I saw people pointing at something on the train tracks, below the platform.
I looked. It was a wild turkey, very dead. And very out of place in downtown Chicago.
Then I put some things together.
M. and I had arrived on the Southwest Chief, on that set of tracks, about four hours earlier.
We had seen wild turkeys from the window several times in Kansas and Missouri.
One of them must have flown too late, like the turkeys back home that Shelby the collie chased, not taking to the air until her nose was practically touching their tail feathers.
It was gone today, of course. Someone probably tossed it in the trash.
But when your train enters the long underground train shed, you pass through a dim and sooty passage where I always expect to see rats the size of spaniels scurrying along, not to mention hypothetical asphalt-adapted coyotes.
I imagine one of the above, squinting against the bright lights closer to the station, scurrying out of the shadows to snatch up this unexpected bounty, larger than the usual city pigeons.
But most of my thinking about roadkill is about how casual we are about creating environments that kill animals.
Some people at least eat what they (or others) kill. I have done that too. It makes the equation feel a little more balanced, but only for you yourself.