Pretty Bird

We were sitting out on the deck today, trying to recover from a little over indulgence last night when Rory came over and said, “I touched a bird.”
No one really reacted, and in typical Rory fashion, he repeated that he touched a bird.  I looked in the direction that he had come from and I could see a bright yellow lump lying under the window. 
All at once we were all shouting for him to wash his hands.  He stood with his right index finger in the air like it was riddled with disease.  I think it’s kind of funny how we’re always so down on birds like they are the reason for all that is wrong in the world.  I used to find feathers on the ground and rub them on my face…
I took Rory in to wash his hands and he told me that the bird wasn’t real.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was real, just dead.
After getting his hands washed we went back outside to watch Ryan try and pick the bird up without touching it.  I made a comment about him not being a pussy, which Rory promptly repeated. 

The Birds

Birds were somewhat insignificant in my life for many years.  Sure, I enjoyed seeing the first robin in spring and the occasional cardinal or blue jay, but I lost a lot of respect for birds at a very young age.

We had a big picture window in our living room and each spring and summer, countless birds flew into that window, breaking their necks on impact and landing in the bushes below.  Who knows how many episodes of Pee Wee’s Playhouse or Saved By The Bell were interrupted by that unmistakeable thud followed by the telltale, down feather impression on the window.

All of that changed in 2003.  I was walking into work one morning.  It was a beautiful day and I was in an exceptionally good mood.  I had my coffee in my hand and a skip in my step when out of no where, I received a blow to the back of the head.  I spilled my coffee and almost fell to my knees.  My hair was thrown over my face and as I was trying to regain my composure and readying myself to punch whoever had hit me, I saw a hawk taking flight back up into a tree.  Suddenly, my scalp was stinging and my neck and head were throbbing.  It was then that I realized that I had just been attacked by a fucking hawk!

I only suffered some minor whiplash, a few scalp lacerations from the hawk’s talons and a lesson that if you get attacked by a hawk, people will laugh at your unfortunate attack before asking if you are OK 100% of the time, regardless of their rank at a Fortune 500 company.

Ever since that feathered assault, I have been very leery of birds.  I gave them another chance a couple years later at a pet store.  I allowed a little bird to crawl up on my finger so I could show Kamryn and before I knew it, that bird crept all the way up my arm to my shoulder.  He was dangerously close to my 1 year old daughter and I was trying to pass Kamryn off to Ryan and alert the pet store worker that the stupid bird was biting me and putting holes in my t-shirt.

That was the last straw and birds officially became my least favorite animal.  I avoid them like Avian Influenza.  Today we were playing in Balboa Park with friends and there were pigeons everywhere.  Luckily, I had my own little scarecrow to rid my surroundings of flying rats.