By Caridad

terror-de-los-animales-1A hermit crab was in the middle of the road as a car was approaching in the distance. If one of the vehicle’s four wheels lined up with it, good-bye crab, not even its hard snail like shell would save it from being squashed.

I hurriedly found a piece of cardboard box to trap it, but the crab has many legs and kept climbing out. The car was bearing down, when finally a girl came to my aid, and the animal was safe.

This story concluded well for both the hermit and me, but on other occasions, the role of animal rescuer has brought me not so very happy endings.

I don’t know if I should take some kind of course or just harden my heart more and stop trying to save the life of every worm, slug, ant or any type of bug that finds itself lost in the city.

“One time I saved a fish” – that’s a classic line in my life, though it would be more accurate to say, “One time I lost a job over a fish.”

I was in the middle of a test, the kind given during some job interviews, and I had to complete the phrase “One time I…” The only thing that came to my mind was the tender scene of the beach on a winter day; my feet in the wet sand and – suddenly – I spot a little yellow fish fighting to return to the sea. I pick it up by the tail and helped it return to the water. What happiness…

Of course I didn’t get the position; the work had nothing to do with ecology.

Then there was one morning, on the side of the expressway (a super highway) when I observed a dog nearing the place where a group of people were waiting for any type of transportation. I don’t know at what moment it tried to cross to the other side of the motorway, but – since the route handled fast traffic – a car hit the animal.

terror-de-los-animales-2Silence fell over that stretch of the highway. Like in a dream, the cars didn’t cease shooting by. Yet the dog was unable to stand up to make it to the other side. Its pain forced it to yelp. Also like in a dream, I ran to it and picked him up by his four paws, dragging him to safety before some other car gave him the coup de grâce.

Notwithstanding, the suffering animal had nailed its canines into my right hand; to get them out I had to pull its jaws open.  I took a big bottle of ice water and wetted the dog down with it – a remedy I’d learned from my grandmother – to try to keep him alive.

But he didn’t make it. And I didn’t have money to pay for a car or a veterinarian to take him away, plus my hand now needed as much medical attention as he had.

Somebody told me later that a man (maybe the owner) later picked up the dog, and that gave me a little comfort, because it was more than a month before I was able to use my hand.

Unable to type, I missed an opportunity to turn in my book for a competition, and I had to put up with the doctor’s shots and jabs for such an irresponsible act.

But I’m not to blame for the fact that there isn’t a course (here) for saving animals. For the time being, I’ll just have to keep making it up as I go along.


Caridad

Caridad: If I had the chance to choose what my next life would be like, I’d like to be water. If I had the chance to eliminate a worst aspect of the world I would erase fear. Of all the human feelings I most like I prefer friendship. I was born in the year of the first Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, the day that Gay Pride is celebrated around the world. I no longer live on the east side of Havana; I’m trying to make a go of it in Caracas, and I continue to defend my right to do what I want and not what society expects of me.

2 thoughts on “Saving Animals

  • I agree this is a great article. I liked the photos as well. You are a great photographer.

  • A great story and snapshot of Cuba. I believe that despite the limitted resources Cuba needs/should address the concerns of domestic animals.As a Canadian we often say that a society is best judged by how they treat minorities ,the needy and helpless. Animals fall into that group. Again I recognize the need to weigh human needs versus animal ones. Canada has a variety of organizations that work with animals in the global community as well as vets etc.

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