I consider myself a strong person and I’ve had to deal with many difficult losses in my life. But, I confess, all my strength is shattered by even the tiniest sparrow’s death.

If I see a momma duck and her babies trying to cross a busy road, I panic. The animal videos sent in by the millions on the Internet always leave me crying. Once, I witnessed the needless running over of a female mallard in a Kmart parking lot that left me catatonic. I wasn’t able to speak of the incident without bursting into tears for weeks, and to this day, it disturbs me to remember. Seeing a mashed squirrel on the road, or worse, someone’s loved pet, breaks my heart.

I avoid movies that I know will upset me; I’ve never even made it past Bambi’s mother dying. I can’t watch the nature channels for fear of seeing one animal eating another. Yes, I know, wild animals must eat to survive, but I can’t watch it. I worry over the sandpiper that roams in my cul-de-sac, his mate nesting somewhere close as he keeps watch. In the winter, when the quail can’t find food through the snow, I fret. When a bird hits my window, I keep watch for hours until it can fly away.

So beware, I brake for even the smallest of creatures crossing the road. I hope you do, too.