That Otter Shouldn’t Have Been Dead

When our kids see a dead animal on the side of the road, they’ll often come up with scenarios of what caused that animal’s demise.

Even though I say “I’m sure it was hit by a car while it was crossing the street” they come up with something better. Something like “I think that deer was just minding its own business when a spaceship shot it with a laser. Poor thing.” Or “I bet that squirrel was on a date with another squirrel and when it tried to kiss the girl squirrel good night, she slapped him and then he ran up to the power line and got electrocuted and then his body just fell right there.”

We were driving to a park a few days ago when we passed a huge, bloated otter on the side of the road. I didn’t think anyone else noticed it since there were no far-fetched stories coming from the back on the Suburban. Then this:

Leo: “What kind of animal was that, Mom?”

Me: “I think it was an otter or maybe a beaver.”

Leo: “They live in the water? Is there water around here?””

Me: “Yes- I think the river runs back behind that tree line. He should’ve stayed near water and away from cars, huh?”

Leo: “I think he probably just died from being a fat ass or maybe something was chasing him…”

Me: “He was probably hit by a car. And you can’t say ‘ass’, Leo.”

Leo: “I didn’t- I said ‘fat ass’. You don’t want me to hurt his feelings? He’s dead, you know. He doesn’t have anymore feelings.”

Me: “I’m not worried about his feelings- you can’t cuss.”

Leo: “I didn’t! I didn’t say “that asshole sure is fat!”

Me: “You can’t say ‘ass’. That’s a cuss word.”

Leo: “Well, he shouldn’t have been all fat and dead on the side of the road and I wouldn’t have said it.”

Always blame the dead otter, y’all.

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