road runn

Road runner

Perhaps I am, again, in the minority, but I have always hated Roadrunner cartoons.

In sympathy with the coyote, I wanted him to catch the roadrunner. I wanted his prissy little "beep beeps" to end and the coyote to get a reward for his hard work.

Of course, it would have been traumatizing if Wiley Coyote had truly caught that bird, but you know it's not going to happen so you feel free to cheer for the underdog.

In reality, he might not be the underdog. I read coyotes can travel in excess of 40 miles per hour, while roadrunners' top speeds are around 20 miles per hour.

However, a recent news story shows a roadrunner traveling much faster than 20 mph.

The United Press International reported a roadrunner was found in a van after a man and his son inadvertently drove it from Las Vegas to Maine.

Called The Avian Haven animal hospital in Freedom, Maine, said in a Facebook post the pair contacted the facility when he and his son opened the back of their moving truck at a storage facility in Westbrook and discovered a roadrunner apparently had stowed away in the vehicle before they left Las Vegas.

The animal rescue sent a representative who was able to catch the creature, take it back to the rescue, examine it and and declare it in good shape, considering it had been in the van for four days. They said it perhaps had some food items saved up for the trip, you know, like a box lunch.

The group said it is looking into options for returning the roadrunner to its native habitat, which is Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and southern California.

When I watched the cartoon as a child (I know, I said I didn't like it, but that doesn't mean I didn't watch it), I didn't know a roadrunner was really a bird. I thought it was a made-up thing for the cartoon. It looked more like an ostrich to me.

It was years later that I saw a picture of a roadrunner and wondered, "How did the cartoonists get their character by looking at that bird?"

But what is accurate is the fact that coyotes prey on roadrunners and so do raccoons and hawks. In turn, roadrunners eat rodents, reptiles, small mammals and insects, as well as scorpions, tarantulas, other birds, fruit and seeds.

That's a wide variety of food and that makes me wonder what that roadrunner who went to Maine packed in its box lunch.

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