Roadkill Ethics

"Down there! Down there!"

Two crows, Rollo and Sadie, were on the hunt for a noon-day meal. They swooped down from the sky and landed ten feet from lunch.

On the shoulder of the highway lay a pile of bloodied feathers with one black wing pointing toward the sky. Once living, but now dead, the bird apparently had received a lethal blow from a car's windshield.

The two walked over to the deceased, pausing now and then to check for predators who might be looking to make a meal out of them.

Rollo bent down and put his beak into the bird.

"Wait!" cawed Sadie. "That's Ernie."

"Yeah?" said Rollo. "So?"

"He was our friend. We flew together lots of times."

"Well, he's dead now, and that means he's lunch."

"How can you eat him?" asked Sadie, backing away from Rollo. "If that were me there, would you eat me?"

Rollo cocked his head to one side and stared at Sadie.

"Yup, I guess I would," said Rollo. "Look, he's dead and I’m hungry. I don't see what the problem is."

"If you take one more peck at Ernie, you and I are through," said Sadie.

Rollo cocked his head again and then pecked at Ernie's wing.

Sadie's feathers ruffled as she shuddered. "How is he?" she asked.

"He's okay," said Rollo. "Probably only been dead a few hours."

Sadie walked back over and tentatively pecked at Ernie's thigh.

She and Rollo then stared at each other as if sharing information through some sort of avian telepathy.

Shrugging their wings, they both scanned the immediate area for a few seconds and then tore into lunch.

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