By: Laura Morton

Ah, Friday night…

You’ve put in your time for the week, and you can barely wait until you get home to start your week-end. If you’re like me, all you want to do is get home and take your shoes off, put on your comfy clothes and relax.

All that stands between you and your humble abode is the drive home. Piece of cake, right?

That is until you start driving, and you notice the abundance of wildlife crawling out from the woodwork into your lane of traffic.

Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing deer and moose frolic in the meadows. Heck, I still get excited when I see a herd of elk grazing on the grasslands. I have my handy-dandy binoculars sitting on a table on my front porch just in case some wildlife happens to meander across my hill.

But please, not when I am driving. Especially not those four-legged animals that decide to congregate on the side of the road, not really knowing if they want to cross it or not. You know the ones; they have that deer-in-the-headlights look on their faces as you slow down to a mere crawl, just in case they happen to leap out. Or, just as you reach them, they turn tail and run, laughing all the way.

After living here for so long, you learn to drive defensively, scanning the road back and forth, as if you are watching a tennis match. The weird thing is that it just becomes so automatic.

Then there are the flocks of turkeys, all puffed out, showing off for their ladies, taking their sweet time crossing the road, bobbing their heads left and right, quite confused as to which way they really want to go.

Despite all the obstacles that come my way, I really just want to get home. Just as I’m nearing the home stretch, I spy a bunch of little somethings up ahead, the kind of little somethings you really can’t identify until you’re closer to them. And as I approach, slowing down, I make out what they are.

It’s a family of grouse. Mom and Dad with all the kids are out for a Friday night family-outing. And as I approach, I have to come to a dead-stop. They are scattered all over the road, running willy-nilly, with Mom desperately trying to get her youngsters under control. And Dad, too, has come to a dead-stop right in front of my car.

With all the youngsters safely off the road, now it has become just Dad and me. Who will go first?

I try nosing the car up a little at a time, but he won’t budge. I try honking the horn, but it has no affect. Great! It’s Friday night and I just want to get home. As a last-ditch effort I try a new plan. I look in the rear-view mirror, put my car in reverse, backing up slowly to see if the bird gets a clue and moves.

Nope, not even an inch. I move forward again and the bird is stuck, frozen to the spot.

I try backing up and moving forward again and again. Finally, after several attempts, the bird starts to slowly meander across the road and joins the rest of its family. As I slowly drive by, that bird gives me the once-over, with disdain written all over its face.

I guess it’s his Friday, too. We’re all moving a little slow when Friday rolls along.