Monday, September 21, 2009

The wrong place at the wrong time

A few days ago, at the last minute, I decided to go out for a run instead of going to the the gym. It was a beautiful day so I thought a nice run along the water to the bridge and back would be the perfect solution to my stress...

As I came up over the knoll, I saw movement in front of me and as I got closer I realized it was a woodchuck wandering blindly along the running path throwing its head from side to side. As I looked closer, I could see this woodchuck had his head stuck into a Mason jar. My first thought was, "oh my god, this poor creature and I have got to help him".

So, I grabbed the jar, which was plastic, and started to pull thinking it would pop right off. I pulled and pulled, but it wouldn't budge. I actually lifted the woodchuck off the ground (see illustration above) as I continued to try to pry this jar off his head. I shook him up and down a bit, but still, it wouldn't budge. Other people were running, biking and walking past me as I was trying to free this poor woodchuck from his "Mason jar hell". Clearly no one else was going to help me. I was on my own...
I then thought I could twist the jar off his head (see above). So, I grabbed the jar, turned to the right, then to the left, but again, I could not get this jar off his head. It was stuck!!! With tears in my eyes, I finally had to say "I have tried my hardest, but I can't help you".  Reluctantly I left him and ran home. Jerry tried to make me feel better by saying he would find a way to get it off, "like Winnie the Pooh", I said?  I know, I know, but I wanted to believe he would find a way.

I told all my friends about this incident and some said "you could have been scratched or bitten". Bitten? I don't think so...hello, he had a jar on his head! Then others said "like Winnie the Pooh?" and all I could say was "well, sort of"...

Such a sad little story that I don't even know why I sketched and posted it. I wish I had gone to the gym.

28 comments:

Spinneretta said...

Poor thing- I love your journal entry though :)

Marie Plocharz said...

Very poignantly done, it's sad how those things haunt you.

I wish him well and it was kind of you to try to help.

phthaloblu said...

You've got a big heart to try and help the poor guy. I had a friend who told me a similar story only it was a skunk with his head in a glass jar. My friend was able to get it off, tho, and the skunk didn't even spray him! On the bright side, I really liked your sketches, they illustrated your story really well. So sad you had to go through that tho, and that no one else would help.

Dan Kent said...

That is so terrible. Hate to be a grown man that preaches about littering, but I am always so concerned about abandoned man-made objects that can hurt the creatures around us. Some people just have no clue. It was bold of you to try to help the woodchuck. It's such a shame it didn't work. Great illustrations of the situation though.

mark mitchell said...

I had to share this post with my children's book illustration group; it was so poignant and so gently (and meaningfully) treated in your post and sketches.

pippasporch said...

I admire your courage for sketching such a highly upsetting incident, Jen. The mere thought of it closes my throat with the crushing weight of it.

Martine said...

Distressing event but lovely sketches. They could be put up in an advert in favour of Man's everyday responsibility towards nature.
Well done !

marancat said...

I am so sorry - for the animal and for you. I am glad you drew this story tho'. I agree with Dan re littering and perhaps your illustrated story will make some person think about how they dispose of their litter and save another creature from a similar fate. Your sketches are a great way of drawing attention to the issue without aggression.

Possum Patty said...

A sad but meaningful story for those who do not think about the consequences of their actions. Well told and illustrated.

caseytoussaint said...

What a sad story- poor little guy. Your drawings do a great job illustrating it too - I hope some day you work on a children's book - (or maybe you already have?)

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

You did your best...that's all you can do. Such thoughtless humans to toss things out like that...

That happened to one of my cats once, when I still had outdoor ones--I was able to remove it, it was just a tin can, but the poor old guy was pretty spacy after that. I always stomped on tin cans after that, though...

A Brush with Color said...

Oh, how sad! I can't imagine that poor creature in there struggling like that. You did all you could to try to help. I think the only thing that might have worked would have harmed him even more--breaking the jar itself. You have to wonder how he got in there so far to begin with!

Doug said...

Hi Jennifer.
What a disturbing story!
It angers me how thoughtless people
place innocent animals at such risk.

I agree that your excellent
sketches and narration, if published, or shared with youngsters in the classroom,
could help children become more aware of the dangers of road-side littering to our animal population.

Cheers, Doug

Leslie Hawes said...

I guess that it would be totally inappropriate to say that even though this was a less than pleasant experience for you and the poor woodchuck...those illustrations had me laughing out loud.

nanke's stuff said...

I know just how disturbing something like that can be. You were brave, caring and thoughtful to try to help it. Maybe someone else came after you who was more successful. The sketches are wonderful, as is your description of what happened and how you felt. Thanks for sharing such a difficult experience. nancy

Studiomiguel said...

wow... poor guy. I'd like to think that some responsible citizen put this in a sealed trashcan and through some fluke the poor guy managed to get where he shouldn't have been. The reality is that people are slobs and don't think that their actions effect anyone.

laura said...

Oh my god, that is a horrible, terrible story. I feel so sorry for you having to go through the ordeal of not being able to save the woodchuck ... but I do commend you so much for trying and caring!!

Delorse said...

Awful thing, I wish you could have removed it from his head... though distressing, your sketches are good.

Ellen said...

Jennifer have you called anima control or rangers? Maybe they could keep a lookout for him...or know the habitat. I can't even read the other comments...it is just too horrible. Poor animal.

raena said...

As everyone here as already stated, and I think we all feel deeply, that this is a horrible horrible thing!

You've done a wonderful job of sketching this out though. There could definitely be a book in it, teaching children not to litter, conservation and such.

Krista Meister said...

oh, the poor little guy! You had a great way of telling the story though - thanks for the visuals.

Anonymous said...

lovely illustrations, look on the optimistic side maybe he's since lost weight and the jar has slipped off!! :)

Judybec said...

Amazing no one else stopped to help -- I'm hoping he's somehow slipped the jar off.... your sketches are the best.

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