Friday, June 8, 2012

Aviary Anecdotes

My sister and I split the janitorial job at my dad's office.  In his payroll lady's office is this picture:
It makes me laugh soooooooooo hard every time I go in there to empty her garbage.  That bird just looks so eeeeeeeeeevil. 

So if you combine that evil face on this cute little guy...:

Then you will picture the scenario I'm about to tell you.

So I had a rare opportunity to go jogging by myself yesterday.  Usually, Micah insists upon joining me by riding in the jogging stroller, which is really for, you know, babies.  And he's four now.  But somehow, the stroller can handle it, so I oblige.  It's really a ton harder pushing a 30 pound kid in one of those things than jogging by yourself, but I figure I need the exercise.

Testimony to how hard it is to push my dense little boy in that thing - I was talking to a teenaged girl in the hall at church a couple of weeks ago.

"I saw you jogging the other day with Micah in the jogging stroller!" she said.

"Oh yeah?" I said, mentally patting myself on the back for having jogged at all that week - my track record for jogging has been really bad lately.  Get it?  Track record???

"You looked like you were going to die," she said.


And I do feel like I'm going to die when I push him and jog.  But I guess I should keep those feelings inside more, eh??  I shouldn't wear my heart on my...face... so much.

Back to my story.  So I decided to jog around this little track at an elementary school which is a few blocks away.  It has a sign that says, "Three laps equals one mile."  I figured I could keep track of my mileage that way and it would be a nice change of pace from the usual routes I take. 

I was about a two-thirds of the way through my first lap when I saw this cute little black bird with red shoulders.  I haven't ever seen a bird like that before, so I smiled to myself - Nature is so amazing.  Look at that beautiful bird, I thought. 

He even had a cute little chirp.  It wasn't the usual bird sounds I hear near my house.  So I was enjoying it.  He was chirping quite a bit as I neared him, and I figured he was letting his buddies know, Hey, there's a person passing through here.

I passed him, and then I heard this hissing sound.  Very loud.  I glanced around confusedly.  Is there a cat around here? I thought.  Why is there a weird cat hissing at me??

I couldn't see a cat.  Shrugged and kept jogging.

There is was again.  HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.  (That is supposed to be what a hissing sound is spelled like.  Roll with it.)  I glanced side to side.  Again, nothing.  And then I glanced over my shoulder.

This bird was flying right at my HEAD!  Hissing at me!!!  Gone were the cute chirps. 

I yelped and ducked and sped up.  Sheesh!  I'm leaving!  I'm leaving!

But he wasn't satisfied that I was literally running away.  He took another hissing pass at my head.  Always from behind.  He would hiss, fly at my head, I would yelp and duck, and he would hop onto a fence post.  And then he'd do it again.  And again.  This happened like five times.  It was totally TRAUMATIZING. 

Finally, I had gone far enough out of his territory or whatever to satisfy him, and he flew back to his original position.

Needless to say, I didn't do any more laps on that track.  I left the school and ran one of my normal, safe, hiss-free routes.

When I came home, I googled "black bird red shoulders" to see what on earth I had been up against.  The images for the red-winged blackbird which popped up are the spitting image of the Angry Bird.  (Angry Birds.  Turns out they're not so cute.  They really ARE scary.)

And here is what one website said about these birds:

"Red-winged Blackbirds fiercely defend their territory during the breeding season. Over a quarter of the male’s time is spent vigorously defending his territory from other males and predators. They do not hesitate to attack much larger animals, including people."

Must be breeding season.  Yikes.

Story #2 - much shorter.

Sadie, Ashlynn, and Micah were playing in our front yard.  Ashlynn is one of our neighbor kids.  She and Micah often play.  Even though she is nine and he is four.  But really, it makes sense, because she seems younger, mentally, than nine.  There has always been something a little off about her.  Those of you who have read my blog a long time know exactly what I'm talking about there.

So they were in front, playing, and Sadie ran inside.

"Mom, Micah just ate BIRD POOP!"


I ran outside, and Micah had this look on his face:
(This is a picture I took of Micah right after I caught him peeing in the front yard.  He just whipped it out and peed.  You can see a streak in the dirt - that's the pee mark.  Yes, there has always been something a little off about him, too.  Which is why he and Ashlynn are kindred spirits, I guess.)

"Micah!" I yelled, running toward him, "What did you just DO???"

Ashlynn, her face...ashen...said, "He ate BIRD POOP!"

I stared at him, mouth agape.  "You, you, you, what?  What?  What?  You.... how?  Why?  What?"

Sadie filled in the details.  "Micah saw the bird poop on the driveway.  And before we could stop him, he dipped his finger in it and licked his finger!!!"

I may have thrown up in my mouth a little bit at this point.

I may be throwing up in my mouth a little bit as I type this story.

And what can you DO at this point???  I made him wash his hands....but dude, the fecal matter is already in his BODY.  I can't wash it off his tongue.  It's long gone!!!

Fecal matter.  My son ate fecal matter today.

The End.


Mindy H. said...

Bird Comment #1: That blue bird sign made me laugh SOOOOOO hard! The 'blue bird of happiness' is a term my principal is always using. I am going to print the photo out and stick it on his door. Thanks for sharing!

Bird Comment #2: I love that you met a real-life angry bird! How cool is that?!? Especially since you weren't physically harmed in the attack. Of course, now I am thinking that there should be extra points in the game for the mental and emotional pain that the bird attacks can cause, even when the pig's buildings aren't knocked over.

Bird Comment #3: Ick.

megan said...

I tried posting a comment while I was gone, but I was doing it on my phone and it was acting up:P

That is kind of funny about the bird hissing at you. Sorry, to say that, but I never thought I'd hear a story like that! lol

And Micah??!! Oh, gosh, I don't even know what to say to that!! lol

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