We were driving home from swim class when I notice the car in front of us braking to avoid hitting two gigantic, slow-moving, and low-flying birds.
Turkey, my mind immediately registers. Wild turkey.
I point them out to Lauren.
“I didn’t even know they could fly,” she says.
“They can, but they are really slow,” I say. “So if you’re ever driving and you see them, you have to brake for them because they’re too slow and heavy to get out of the way of a car like most small birds.”
“They’re so pretty,” she says as we pass the big birds…happy pecking away in someone’s side yard. “And we kill them to eat them.”
“Yeah, well, that’s the circle of life, you know?” I say. “Some animals are here to be food for other animals.”
“Like those cows,” I say, gesturing to a bunch of black cows circled around a feeder of hay in the center of a field. “They are going to be burgers and steaks, eventually,” I say.
She stares out the window in the passenger seat and doesn’t say anything for a few minutes.
“Sometimes I think: Why did I get to be the top of the food chain? Why wasn’t I, like, a worm or a caterpillar or something? How come I got to be human? How did I get picked to be bigger and better than all the other animals?”
Just then, two honking Canadian geese fly over the field and above our car …and then….
“I think they heard you, Lauren,” I said with a laugh.
“We may be on top, but the bird are still above and they can totally crap all over our precious stuff.”
Well played, geese. Well played.