One morning this week I circled back on a road near Joe Pool Lake to make sure I really saw a man carefully gathering up a motionless bobcat.
As I stopped, Victor, shut his trunk.
“I saw that beautiful bobcat,” I said while getting out of my truck.
“Yes, I was sorry to see a him dead on the road,” he said in a deep, distinguished accent. “I think it happened very recently.”
He asked if I wanted to see bobcat. I nodded.
It seems we both had an urge to pay our respects together to the cat and to God. The still life scene in the trunk was sad but not grotesque.
Victor explained that he thought the beautiful creature should be preserved. He hoped to find a taxidermist nearby. He said he grew up Africa where his dad often welcomed a gentle cheetah in their house.
As we admired the thick fur with vivid black and brown spots, we grieved the inevitable loss of life by cars moving too fast. We also agreed God’s creation is simply amazing.
At one point in the conversation we both had our hands on our own hearts. Then he slowly closed the trunk.
We informally gave thanks for the bobcat. It was like a communion of nature and in nature.
Shaking hands, we blessed each other and left the scene.
It was an unusual impulse, even a spiritual impulse to stop and visit with a stranger in a strange situation. It was definitely a moment of grace, although I wouldn’t recommend it to everybody.
Thank you, Victor, it was a gift to share a time of dignity and reverence with you.
And to anyone who is a hunter, fisher or one of the many to accidentally hit a animal, pause and thank God for the diverse life on this planet.
Yes, even if you hit a skunk.
God bless the world, no exceptions.