Driving home from White River Junction at twilight, I see the dim, fading remnants of a rainbow over the southern edge of the village. As I continue south on I-91, it brightens and seems to move with me, until the rain begins to fall in earnest and the last of the colors dissolve.
As I pass the sign for the Windsor exit, there's something in the road, sprawled towards the shoulder. Matted deep brown fur, the raw red hollow of a shattered ribcage, a huge flat black tail -- a beaver, pulverized by a truck, no doubt. A short ways further, another, rolled like a bloodied floormat at the far edge of the passing lane, more recognizably a beaver, its distinctive broad tail partially flattened by tire treadmarks.
As the Windsor exit comes into view, I sigh -- another beaver smashed to a partial pulp in the right lane ahead. I look away, toward the northbound lane, and see yet another on that stretch of highway. Four adults, by the look of it, all quite, quite dead; an entire family, or colony, wiped out in an afternoon. There was nothing on these stretches of road this morning.
I flick my blinker on, and veer onto the exit, heading home, hoping to arrive.