Friday, October 3, 2008

Why Does the Bird Hate Me?

I spoke on the phone the other day to a woman from Utah who I used to work with. I was asking some questions about when Amy and I should travel to Utah for a scenic drive. After I hung up I was thinking about the fun I used to have when working for this company called Outdoor Recreation (need I remind everyone of being a snow-mobile guide without ever having actually been on a snow-mobile myself).

There are many, many funny stories from my time at Outdoor Recreation, but a classic was Pete the bird. I’m not entirely sure his name was Pete, as this was at least nine years ago. What I do remember for sure was that a management intern came on the scene. For whatever reason one day she brought a bird to the office and put it out where everyone could see it. The only other time I remember being around caged birds was when I was little and my Grandma Mary had one – well she had a few during my lifetime, but all I know is they were dirty, loud, and for some reason had to have a sheet over their cage at night.

I was never allowed to touch any of Grandma Mary’s birds, only look at them from a distance. When I was about 12 or so I visited Grandma Mary for this first time in two or three years. I’m not sure how it came about, but she decided that I must be mature enough to touch her bird, and so she allowed, at my request, a bird touching. I reached in to pet it, or let it climb on me or something and it flipped the heck out. Flapping all around, feathers flying – it was a mess. The next day that bird died, Grandma Mary insisted that I had given the bird a heart attack and killed it. I don’t know what I could have done differently, but evidently I offended that bird to the core.

Okay so back to Outdoor Recreation. I notice the bird in the cage, and likely as a result of my lack in childhood I ask if I can pet the bird. One thing leads to another and the bird is on my finger. I am thrilled that finally I have found a bird that likes me. The problem is the Pete liked me a little too much. My finger wasn’t enough; he clawed his way all the way up my arm to my shoulder where he sat perched for a few minutes. Then for whatever reason he made his way down my back. His little claws were hurting so I finally had to get down on all fours to make Pete level in hopes he would retract his claws. It worked; but the bird wouldn’t get off of me for anything. Finally after everyone in the room was in hysterics Kelly (the birds’ owner) forcefully removed the bird from my person and put him back in his cage.

My only assumption is that little Pete was mortally embarrassed by this escapade as future attempts to get him on my finger were failures. In fact Pete grew hostile towards me, over time squawking loudly at the mere sight of me. Everyone would wonder why when I walked in the room Pete would panic and freak out. Pete’s built up hostility and anger towards me grew and festered in to a distinct hatred for me. This bird would get out of control every time he saw me – eventually resorting to sharpening his beak at the sight of me just in case he needed to attack (given the opportunity I feel he may have).

Everyone just thought this was so funny, but I was a little offended. I finally asked Kelly “What should I do to regain Pete’s trust?” She replied “Just put your hand in there and let him climb on.” “Not a good idea,” I thought to myself. A few days later I came up with a solution – welders gloves. On this day I walk in to the office, and as usual Pete starts screaming, he runs over to his beak sharpening stone and begins ferociously sharpening to ensure epidermis penetration when he bites. But then much to his surprise I forgo my normal route far out of Pete’s sight, and instead set course straight for his cage.

He was most uncomfortable with my stand, and made his thoughts known, to keep me in sight he had to abandon his beak sharpening stone, and turn around, he then commenced the beak sharpening on the bars of the cage. This bird was crazy, I’m telling you. I don the gloves, open the door, and insert my gloved hand. It’s a good thing I wore the gloves; this plan did not work, Pete literally tore chunks out of the hard thick leather gloves. He really hated me, talk about bitter. I never again attempted to have interaction with Pete, and although over time he stopped being so vocal he would always commence beak sharpening at the mere sight of me.

Tonight back to New York for a delicious dinner before we must go back to reality (and hot humid weather) in Houston. HAVE A GREAT DAY!


Valerie said...

That was hilarious. I'm relieved that the species of animals not enjoying your presence seems limited to birds and that Maggie has not taken to sharpening her incisors when you walk in the room...:)

LunarWorld said...

Are you sure Pete wasn't a she? Sounds like the violent rage that can only come from a woman who has been scorned.