I saw the leaf flitting across the road oddly and realized it wasn’t a leaf. A little gray leaf that darted across three lanes of opposite direction traffic, the median, my lane, the lane to my right…one last lane and the tiny mouse would be on the other side.
I should have been grossed out; across the street was a string of fast food and takeout joints I’ve gotten lunch from dozens of times. But I was so impressed that this teeny little mouse had almost finished crossing six lanes of evening rush hour traffic to get who the hell even knows where.
I saw a truck coming and held my breath. The mouse stopped, as if aware it needed to look both ways before crossing. I kept holding my breath, the truck had almost passed.
I don’t know if the mouse didn’t know another set of wheels was coming, or it it’d just missed the first set out of chance. I’m almost certainly placing way too much capability for forethought on a creature no larger than my hand from the tip of it’s nose to the end of it’s tail, but it started it’s jaunt again after the first set of wheels and I screamed out “oh noooo.”
I expected a flat smush but it more bounced, as if made of rubber. But it didn’t move. And it didn’t bounce again.
I don’t know why I cared, but somehow that little saga that was seconds of time for the rest of the world stretched to minutes in my mind.