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Sunday Scribblings – Scary

standard April 13, 2009 11 responses

He places the cardboard box on the table and even before he opens the flap or says anything my heart drops like a stone and threatens to stop. My mouth falls open and I freeze. I can’t tear my eyes away.

There has been no warning, but there’s no doubt in my mind. There are birds in that box. He’s going to open it. I just know it.

I was right. He opens the box and at the first hint of a fluttering wing I’m unfrozen and instantly turned away from the scene, my arms protectively curled around my face.

Breathe. My mind whispers. Breathe. You’re OK. It’s just a TV show. There are no birds in this room. They’re on the other side of the screen. Breathe.

I know it’s just a TV show. My rational brain knows there are no birds in here, and, after a tense moment, I actually manage to convince myself that it’s OK to open my eyes. It’s safe. No wings will flutter near my face, no tiny boned feathered bodies will hurl themselves at me today. But it takes a while for my heart to stop hammering and for my breathing to return to normal.

I do not like birds. OK. Clearly that’s an understatement. I loathe and fear birds. I’ve always shunned any winged animal – they’re the only thing in the world that can make me completely lose my composure and my right mind.

When I lived in Paris, I was hard pressed to avoid the million pigeons that littered every street corner and rooftop in the city. My friends knew better than to question my erratic way of walking down the street – first one sidewalk then switch to the other at the first sign of a cluster of pigeons and then back again at the next sign of trouble.

Here in the Silicon Valley suburbs pigeons are few and far between and just a few loud expletives are enough to scare off the odd swallow or scrub-jay that cross my path. The crows are harder to scare so we have a tacit agreement, they don’t flap their wings near me and I pretend they aren’t loitering on my front lawn. It’s not ideal, but it works. In fact, I thought I was safe. Who could have guessed the hateful things were lying in wait inside my beloved TV?

This post was written in response to the Sunday Scribblings prompt Scary. Click through to read other fantastic entries.

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11 responses

  • My husband does NOT like birds either. His family doesn’t seem to like them either. And then, whenever we’d go to Paris he and his parents would encourage our daughter to chase after the pigeons. I kinda bugged me at the time. Wondering if it is a cultural thing lol? Next time I’ll chill!

    I like them though, but I can see how pigeons would be kinda scary. So many of them and they can be dirty too.

  • That explains why even though the monkey house had been turned into a bird area, it still brought back the same traumatic feelings from when you were a kid. A double trauma to say the least!

    I don’t mind birds, but my college roomate had a parrot that was very territorial and would chase me around the house and as much as I could see how she loved him, I was less than fond of the bird,

  • I’m not a fan of pet birds (birds belong outside), and pigeons just creep me out.

    When I was in London, I went to Trafalgar Square, and it seemed the pigeons were all over the people. I snapped a photo of the monument and ran back to the tube…


  • My mom doesn’t like birds either. Imagine her shock when I brought home two parakeets a few years back… needless to say, she insisted that they live in my room. I’ll direct her to your post–think she’d enjoy it. Peace 🙂

  • I have a love/hate relationship with birds and winged things. A Parisian pigeon popped me in the head while I was wandering the Champs Elysees years ago and I’ve not really trusted them since. And bats make me crazy. Good post!

  • I can SO identify with this. I am really scared of birds, too! Good post.

    I mentioned birds as something I’m scared of, but focused on a different fear in my post.

    Please feel free to visit Marguerite

  • Were you exposed to Hitchock’s “The Birds” as a young child, too? I credit the movie for my fear of birds. Now, I’m ok w/ a few birds, but more than 3 & I start to freak out…it makes it really hard to go feed the ducks w/ my girls at the park as the flock of ducks & accompanying pigeons make me want to grab my girls & run away screaming.

  • M

    I’m just impressed that you probably had to search through many pigeon photos to add this one. You’re one step loser to overcoming your fear. 🙂

  • I like birds (though I am allergic to feathers) but I can truly understand why some people are phobic. They are so alien to us, and while they’re featherlight (if you’ll excuse the phrase) they’re quite strong for their size and there are quite unique sounds associated with them. Apart from that, of course, phobias are not rational.

    I think you’re brave to explore this in your SS post!

  • I’m with you sister! I have had nothing but trouble from bird pets – one guy I knew had this pretty bird and it would walk all over his shoulders so when he flew to mine I wasn’t so worried, until it bit my ear – HARD. Since then, no likey the birdies.

  • i think i love birds, bt closeups, never welcome!

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