It's 6:25 a.m., and I'm on my way to work; traffic is sparse. Mingling in the center of the road ahead of me are a group of small, brown birds. Usually, they just fly out of my way as I approach. Nevertheless, I always slow down. Today, however, I maintain my speed. I don't know why.

As usual, once I'm within a few yards, the birds scatter. All except one. It just sits there. In that split second, I'm close enough to see that the tiny bird is looking in the other direction. Then I hear a small, dull thud beneath the car.

I get sick to my stomach. I've never hit an animal with a vehicle before. When I come to the stop sign, I decide to go back. Driving towards the spot, I see this little lump of brown birdie. As it turns out, I didn't squash it; it just bounced around beneath the car. Looking at it closer, I observe it fluttering, which gives me some hope.

At that moment, however, a big blackbird swoops down and picks up the little bird in its beak, then flies to the front lawn of a nearby house, dropping it in the grass. I don't know why, but I thought it was some kind of inter-species charity. A car is coming up behind me, so I continue on.

Turning my car around again, I return to find the big blackbird has the little one pinned down on the sidewalk, struggling beneath its claws. My God, I think, if only I had had the decency to stop... or just squash the little sucker! My stomach turn sour. The big blackbird delivers a few hard, decisive pecks to the little bird's head. It was my fault, so I stay and watch.