Riding to school on the bike path today (pleasant, thanks to unseasonably warm temps in the mid-30s), I startled a middle-sized rabbit. Like a teenager rabbit, full of angst and probably scampering home to put a 30 Seconds to Mars song on his myspace page. It sprinted along the side of the path, it's bunny-heart beating 300 beats a minute and its bunny-eyes like saucers. I tried to reason with it - "Why would I chase you? I don't even need a pelt" - and then tried to be authoritarian with it - "Just stop running and I'll go right past you!"
But, terrified out of its little fluffy head, it darted onto the concrete, right underneath my front wheel. I swerved the best I could, but with a thud and a crack, the damage was done. I was on my fixed-gear, so I skidded to a stop and flipped around to, I don't know, give it CPR or something. But it was gone, hopefully to a rabbit-ER in the woods to have whatever bone I broke set.
Alas, if that had been today's only rodent disaster! Walking out of a review session for the class I'm TAing, I heard a very dull SPLAT. Or maybe a THWACK. Either way, "what the hell?" is what I and the 20 people near me asked simultaneously. Laying on the sidewalk in front of us, stunned and upside-down, was a squirrel that had fallen 40 feet from a branch above the Bascom Hill sidewalk. Miraculously, it sat up, shook its adorable little head, and trotted back over to the base of the tree.
I'm not sure what to make of all this. If I can't believe that rodents are naturally graceful, then what universal truths am I supposed to believe in? My world is shattered. Just like those little animals' legs.