One day freshmen year (of high school) my dear friend Elly came into the theater before school sobbing. Splotchy cries, streaming tears, suffocating breaths. Everyone in the theater leapt to our feet, ready for damage control. We were pretty sure that a cruise-liner full of her closest family members had sunk or something–such was the decibel of her sadness.

After several minutes of calming cooing, we were finally able to coax Elly into revealing the catalyst for her sadness.

“On-on-on the w-way to school,” she inhaled shakily, like her breath was climbing a rickety staircase, “my dad… my dad ran over a sq-sq-squirrel! With his car!”

I vividly remember Tyler Gattoni and I exchanging glances and chomping back the raucous laughter that threatened to break forth, and we walked her consolingly to first period (we later learned that she had sobbed straight through first period. And second period. And third period).

Well Elly, the jokes on me because I recently killed a bird with my car and it was every bit as horrendous as your squirrel was to you. I’d like to say it was the bird’s fault,  but I was speeding, and if those three miles over the speed limit were the difference between life and death then I really should take ownership and admit that it was my fault.

I KILLED A BIRD. And as a reminder to my guilt, it didn’t just thump on my windshield and flop away, leaving his death an ambiguous uncertainty. Oh no.

The bird FWAMMED (Yes, fwammed) right into my windshield wipers, guts splaying across the windshield! Any attempt to wipe it away would result in smeared bird all across my field of vision.

So here I am, all by myself in the middle of nowhere because I am driving home from Colorado, and there is a bird reminding me of its mortality stuck in my windshield wiper and I am ALONE IN THE CAR SCREAMING LIKE A BANSHEE and sobbing my head off–for 50 miles to the nearest exit.

So finally, finally, I get to Green River, and white-faced and howling, I pull up to a gas station. I snap the following picture for Jeremy with shaking hands, and I remove my sock, trying to be ready to shroud the bird in it.

In the next pump over, there was a small little gang of Harley Davidson bikers filling up. You know, the bikers that look like this:

And they hear me howling, and one of them who kind of looked like a man, but who I then realized was a woman wandered over and said,
“Sweetheart, are ya ok?”
And I stuttered, “N-Noo!” And burst into a new regalia of sobs. “C-Can you help me?”
And her eyes opened wide, and she said, “What can I do for ya, darlin?”
And I pointed with a quivering hand at the bird on my windshield, and after a muffled laugh, she pulled me into a tight hug, turned my face away from the bird, and called to her husband in the pump next door.

“Ernie, can you give us a hand over here?”

And he did. Ernie, my knight in a tight leather vest and a doo-rag (Sp?), leapt into action. With a bare hands, (or actually with his fingerless leather gloves,) he untangled the bird from the wipers, then proceeded to thoroughly wash my windshield.
Meanwhile, I’m pressed into Beverly’s ample bosom while she consoles me by telling me about how a bird flew into her exhaust pipe and “it was just nature’s way.” When she finally lets me face my car again, my window was birdless, shiney, and clean.
Ernie gave me a tender hug too and I thanked them profusely while my tears started to ebb. And with that, I was on my way.
I guess the moral of the story is that if Jeremy decides to join a motorcycle gang, I guess I better by him a Harley and a leather vest. Because I guess if he turned out anything like Beverly and Ernie, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing.


  1. Aug 09, 2013

    I love it! You have a gift for story-telling! Still smiling…

  2. Aug 09, 2013

    I'm not sure how such a sad thing could be so hilarious, but it is….so sorry Sierra! So glad they were there to help. I couldn't have done anything either. I would have completely freaked and been frozen!!

  3. Aug 09, 2013

    Maybe they were two of the three nephites.

  4. Aug 09, 2013
    Tayler Morrell

    I love it. What a great story and what nice people!
    Our Fairy Tale

  5. Aug 09, 2013

    This is such a fantastic story. I'm sorry it happened, but I loved reading about it.