It was one of those everyday tasks one adapts to and just gets done, however odious its undertones: getting the dog poop off the lawn and into the trash.
I went at it with dispatch on this winter morning, wielding my sawed-off shovel with well-practiced scoops until I came across some bird feathers, then a few more. I knew what they meant: If I followed the trail, I would find evidence of my cat’s most recent conquest. Sure enough, a few yards farther across the lawn, an eviscerated sparrow.
When my daughter was young and we came across such finds, we would treat them just as we did the dog and cats and rabbits and fish whose demise shadowed her tender years: by performing a ritual burial and saying farewell. But it was years later now, my daughter at school, tasks awaiting, the morning cold, and the ground hard.
So with my shovel in hand, albeit with dog poop already on it, I set about taking the convenient course and loading up the dead bird—still floppy and warm—then heading for ...Read More