During the time that my husband and I were engaged, he lived in an apartment which he shared with a rotating supply of other bachelors. Most of the available parking was taken by the roommates, so when I would visit, I had to park behind the apartment complex in a dusty field which was sparsely covered with patches of tall brown grass. It wasn't unusual to see birds and squirrels diving for cover as I navigated my car around the deeper ruts and gullies to get to where the ground leveled out into a suitable parking place.
Brett was with me one day when I pulled into my customary parking spot. He got out and started to walk around the car to open my door. He stopped short, staring at the ground near my front tire, and gasped, "Oh no! Sweetheart!" I leapt out of the car, initially thinking that I had a flat tire or some other damage to my vehicle about which I was unaware.
"What? WHAT?! What is it??!!"
"Oh no. It's so sad..."
"I can't believe you did this. You ran over a bunny."
My heart sank and tears began to well up in my eyes. Even though it was unintentional and unavoidable, I felt horrible. I'd seen the fluffly little jackrabbits in the field scurry out of my way when I arrived many times. They looked so nimble, so quick. Had I run over one that was disabled and unable to run as fast as his brothers? Had he just not been paying attention? Maybe someone else had run him over earlier and it just looked like it was my fault?
"Are you sure it was me? Please please tell me that he's been rotting there a while."
"Well, you should come look. I can't really tell."
"No way. I don't want to examine bunny guts, even if it is to determine my innocence or guilt. I already feel bad enough."
"There might be something on your tire. You should look at it to see if it was there before or not."
"No! Can't you just tell me?"
"You really need to see for yourself."
So, I steeled my nerves and rounded the front end of the car. Brett was still looking mournfully at the ground near my tire. I peaked out of the corner of my eye, expecting to see fur and blood and guts and the remains of fluffy bunny ears.
It wasn't a bunny. It was a snake. A SNAKE!!!
I can't even look at a picture of a snake from across the room without getting the willies. When I see a snake on TV, I instinctively pull my feet up from the floor. I almost passed out in the snake house at the zoo when I was a kid.
My beloved fiance had artfully manipulated me into believing that I had run over a bunny just to get me close to a dead snake. Why would he do that? WHY?
I know why. He's the devil. I guess I should just be glad that he didn't pick it up and chase me around with it.
The snake had obviously been dead for a while, but rest assured, if I had been given the opportunity to run him over, I would have.
And maybe Brett, too, for that matter.