Some might say that I’m a morbid person because of my keen interest in road kill. It’s a fascination that stems from my childhood. Doesn’t everything?
In those days I had a favourite cousin who truly was a mine of misinformation. We were visiting her house one day and she says,
There’s a dead RAT stuck in the hedge down the lane. Do you want to see it?
It’s really rotten and it’s stinking too!
We headed down the lane.
We’re coming near it now.
It’s down there under that tree. Now hold your nose.
Because if you breathe in the smell of it you’ll DIE!
On we went, me holding tight to my nose and not daring even to open my mouth. My face was purple and my eyes were popping with the effort of holding my breath. I tried so very hard to see the dead rat but it must have been covered in long grass and I was frightened to get too close, so never got a glimpse nor a whiff of it at all.
Of course I passed this interesting information on to my other cousins and my brothers and sisters.
You must never breathe in the smell of a stinking dead animal, or you'll DIE!
They weren’t as gullible as me for we all walked to and fro school along the Lisnevenagh Road where the Burnhouse trucks with their loads of dead animal carcasses passed often enough, leaving behind a miasma of putrid reek that hung in the air long after the lorry passed and none of us ever died of the stink of dead animals, not even one of us. So far.
This photograph taken on the Pipe Road during the 2009 Spring heatwave
When I was a child I'd have walked five miles to see this dead lamb melted into the tarmac. I still would. And I'd take a photograph too.