For the Birds

Hi, Birds.

We need to talk. I have thought for years that I was most afraid of heights and Anne Frank and Nazis and snakes and Amelia Earhart and the people that run carnival rides. But that's because I had never seen that many of you up close. In most of our encounters, you’ve just been sort of flying around tweeting (how tech-savvy!) and being red or whatever, and that was charming and pleasant, and plus you helped wring out Cinderella’s big yellow sponge and sat on Snow White’s finger to sing a duet, and that’s all quite lovely. Yay, birds! Aren’t you quaint!

Except—NO YOU AREN’T. You have transformed from your flittering cartoonish cuteness into feathered fiends who want to peck out my eyes. I KNOW YOU WANT TO PECK OUT MY EYES!!

Let’s start with the worst of you: the ostrich, obviously. You are supposed to be cute, quirky, silly creatures, but the stuffed animals at Anthropologie have grievously mislead us. This summer we decided to do a cute thing and go to a local safari park, and the lady at the entrance is very casual like, "Here are your buckets of feed and keep the windows rolled up or the ostriches will peck the babies and have fun," and we're like, "Haha, okay! What an adorable activity!" and then we drive in and suddenly everywhere there are OSTRICHES, and they are looking at me right in the face, and in their eyes I see SATAN HIMSELF. Because, seriously birds, ostriches have RED EYES, and this is not okay. THEY ARE RED. RED!!!!!!!!! And they looked at me with wide open beaks and unblinking red eyes, and I can tell that the lady was not joking around about them pecking babies and also that they DEFINITELY want to suck my soul out of my body like in Hocus Pocus. This is when I realized: Ostriches are way, way, way worse than carnies. Obviously, I cried/hyperventilated/screamed the entire time while my husband laughed because probably an ostrich grabbed his soul, and it made him forget how to act like a kind human. Or something.

And then on our way to the beach a month ago, we stopped at a quaint petting zoo to let our 2.5-year-old daughter pet the llama and wave to the goat, and then suddenly my brain siren goes off: ALERT ALERT, THIS IS NO LONGER QUAINT! I REPEAT, NO LONGER QUAINT. Yeah, there’s an ostrich on the scene, and I witness him PECK ANOTHER LITTLE GIRL RIGHT ON THE ARM, and her mom didn’t even care. The little girl cried, the mom shrugged, and I nearly threw up. Then a parrot says, “Goodbye now!” and I’m like NOT NOW PARROT ARE YOU INSANE and BYE GIRL, BYE. We haul babies out of there, and I eat like 600 Oreos to recover. 

Oh, but birds, you did not stop with the ostriches and that horrible parrot. Two days ago I thought I was being neurotic (it happens) because I kept hearing a strange pecking sound. I brush it off, like “hey Caroline, it’s fine. You are having ostrich PTSD.” Then I go into our bedroom, and there you are BIRDS, pecking on the bedroom window like you need to get in and take my soul. I do the little wiggle dance that I do when I’m feeling creepy-crawly, and I shut the door and forbid anyone from going in the master bedroom. Oh, but you are determined, birds. You start pecking on the front room window, and when my husband comes home, he says there’s one of you pecking on the van window. HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND, BIRDS?! The van?! The love of my life?! Leave Jean Claude Van Damme alone!

Then he tells me something else: There’s a weird purple goo all over the driver’s window. It’s a pretty color, and it reminds me that at one point in my life I cared about and could articulate the difference between magenta and fuchsia. I dwell on this for a second and then notice the same purple goo on the front window. And the bedroom window. What kind of devil bird magic is this?! “ALFRED HITCHCOCK, I KNOW YOU ARE AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE,” I shout to no one, but I can’t find him. I do the creepy-crawly wiggle dance and try to focus on something else, like cookies. You are driving me to eat a lot of cookies, birds.

The babies and the cookies and I head back to the playroom to read books and play with blocks and forget about birds and whatnot. I look up and spot a tiny purple dot on the playroom window. “Is that…?” I start to say, and then BAM!—a little bird head pops up into the window and starts to peck. I scream, and it makes a baby cry. THANKS A LOT, BIRDS.

And now, birds, right this very second, you are zooming around my yard like you are possessed by tiny bird demons. You are totally freaking out and one of you is ping-ponging his weird bird bod back and forth in the carport and RUINING MY LIFE.

What is happening? My house has an adorable yellow door and a yard gnome, and you are turning all of it into a horror movie. We are like the first scene of Law & Order: Birds Edition over here, where life is happy and normal until there’s some purple goo and suddenly everything becomes dark and terrifying. PLUS I KEEP TYPING IN ALL CAPS AND USING A ZILLION EXCLAMATION POINTS AND THIS IS YOUR FAULT!!!!!!!

You are the absolute worst.