As my regular readers know, I never, ever, in even the slightest possible way, exaggerate. So you can believe me when I tell you that yesterday a vulture tried to gobble my visage.
I was on my health walk. I was on a trail in the mountains near where I live, probably a mile and a half from any home, building, or anyone who might be carrying a vulture swatter. I was enjoying the nature around me, right up until the moment I realized the nature around me was thinking about returning the favor. I was huffing and puffing along, when the shadow of a large bird appeared on the side of the mountain beside me.
“Cool!” I thought. “A hawk overhead”—and then a vulture came sweeping in and began hovering so near my face that I could see every pink wrinkle of its disgustingly pink Mr. Burns head.
“Yikes!” I thought, “how bad is the economy, anyway? Is this vulture so desperate for food he’s trying to eat food that’s still alive?”
I might have felt better about this Nature Moment if I hadn’t just then been so exhausted I had to wonder if I was hallucinating. I have some sort of psychological dysfunction that makes me work-out entirely too hard, and yesterday I was really pushing myself. I had just turned back from the highest point I’d ever reached on that trail when Mr. Carrion My Wayward Son made his ominous, carnivorous appearance.
“Holy cow!” I thought. “How tired do I look, anyway?”
Joe Wingspan seemed to be asking himself the same thing. Hovering perfectly motionless at eye level, he managed to silently float backwards in order to remain precisely one-half inch beyond my arm’s reach. The winged monster was shamelessly assessing me, slightly cocking its head and blinking its tiny, black, ball-bearing eyes at me in that distinctive Curious Bird manner.
Stupidly, my response to being so studiously and intimately scrutinized was to keep my eyes locked straight ahead: When I know someone’s staring at me, my instinctive response is to avoid looking back at them. But then not looking at the bird started to make me nervous, too. What kind of message was that sending? That I was afraid? Weak? Moments from cracking under the pressure? So dense I wasn’t aware of the six-pound bird with the six-foot wingspan that was hovering three feet from my face?
I suddenly remembered how the Dog Whisperer dominates his unruly curs through direct confrontation. Too bad he wasn’t the Vulture Whisperer, so I’d know if his methods would work here. Hoping they would, I mustered up my courage, swiveled my head, and stared right at Mr. Death on Wings.
And that’s when things took a turn for the worse.
To be continued next time, because I have got to quit making my blog posts so long.
Other posts I’ve written on the “When Animals Attack!” theme are: Attack of the Killer Squirrels, Part Duex (there really was no Part 1); a four-part series about some coyotes that ate my cat that starts with Weird Nature, and Woody Woodpecker Turns Manic Attack Bird.
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