I was just over visiting Dee from Downunder (http://myaussieantics.blogspot.com/). Today’s post is a list of 10 honest things about herself – and very brave and honest they are, too – and one caught my eye.
She doesn’t care for birds.
I immediately felt a sense of rapport with this lady on the other side of the globe, because she’s figured out what so few people have: that birds are really just rats with wings.
Okay, I know all the bird lovers out there will set up a squawk, but I have valid reasons for my antipathy.
When I was six or seven, my Great-Aunt Nini (actually Geneva – they didn’t name her till she was five and allowed her to pick her own name) owned a little green parakeet named Tommy. Tommy was getting on in years, and he had a big pink tumor on his belly, which was disgusting just for starters.
Anyway, every week after church my sister, Rita, and I would stop by to visit Aunt Nini and she would give us cheese on crackers and these little glasses of Coca-Cola. We rarely had soda pop at our house, so this was a huge treat.
But every week when we were there, Aunt Nini would say, “Pet Tommy.”
“I don’t want to pet Tommy,” I’d whine. “He pecks me.”
She’d look shocked. “Tommy would never do that.”
So I’d stick my skinny little finger through the cage wire and Tommy would peck the fire out of it. Every week this would happen, with it coming as news to Aunt Nini every single time.
Fast forward to fifth grade, when Linda Bell brought her parakeet for show and tell. She was walking up and down the rows of desks, allowing the bird to hop from her finger to each classmate’s as I watched in horror, knowing my turn was coming. I couldn’t quite come up with the courage to say, “Keep that vile thing away from me,” but when it was my turn, as soon he got one of his bony little feet on my finger, my terror won out and I jerked my hand away, nearly turning Linda Bell’s beloved pet into a miniature version of the Thanksgiving wishbone.
And there have been other incidents over the years. Like the time when I was cleaning my downstairs neighbor’s apartment (I was a single mom at the time and needed the cash) while he was out of town and his parrot flew out of his cage and landed on my shoulder, causing said neighbor’s apartment to nearly also need a good carpet cleaning. I had to call one of his friends to come get the bird off my shoulder, while I waited, rigid, for him to arrive.
Or the time I was at a picnic and a bird flew by overhead and pooped in my plate and down my leg, earning me the nickname “Bird Woman” among my friends to this day.
There is one thing I like to do with birds, though: dinner.
Every time I stop by the Colonel’s, I figure I’ve evened the score just a little bit.