It was early one weekday afternoon and I was driving from my home town to visit the city port about 30 miles away.The road is mainly dual-carriageway and part of it runs through a beautiful forest area with the forest coming up to the edge of a narrow gravel hard shoulder.The sun was shining and as there wasn’t much traffic, I was almost in auto-pilot, driving at about 40 – 50 mph.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of an animal emerge from the undergrowth and I felt the bump as it collided with the front nearside wheel of my car. I slowed down and looked in my mirror to see the grey body of an animal lying in the road. I thought it was a rabbit.
As, by this time I had gone quite a way past it and there was no convenient place to go turn round, I continued on my way. Suddenly a large red Volvo appeared alongside me and I saw that the driver gesturing violently that I should pull over. More out of curiosity than anything I pulled on to the hard shoulder and the Volvo pulled up just in front of me.
The driver, clearly very agitated, got out and stalked back towards me, so I opened my door and stood to meet him. “Do you realise that you just hit an animal back there?” he shouted.
“Calm down” I replied “I had no chance to avoid it and it was obviously dead from the force of the bump and the fact it wasn’t moving”.
“It could have been just stunned or badly injured” he snarled.
“What’s your problem?” I asked also beginning to feel annoyed.
“I’m a vet” he said, calming slightly “And, only too often, I’ve had to deal with animals left for dead by uncaring car drivers like you”.
“What do you expect me to do about it?” I asked.
“The least we can do is go back to see how the animal is,” he said.
He was clearly very concerned and he had touched my conscience, so I agreed to go back with him. We both got into his car and we retraced our steps at the next exit.
We eventually arrived back at the scene of the accident and the prone form was still stretched out in the road.
We got out of his car and walked back to the body of a largish grey hare. The vet was carrying a sack upon which he placed the body and carried it over to the hard shoulder and laid it down. He then procededed to examine the hare thoroughly, stood up, went back to his car and came back carrying a large aerosol can. He then proceeded to spray the body thoroughly from head to tail and stood back.Suddenly the hare twitched a few times, staggered to it’s feet and then bounded off into the forest.
For a moment I was speechless.
Then I said “If I hadn’t seen that I wouldn’t have believed it. What was in the can?”
“Hare restorer” he replied.