A Vulture Tried to Eat My Face

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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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I swear, it wasnt a ploy—though I appreciate the implication that anyone WOULD come back for more. It's just that I really DO want to start making my posts shorter. And this story—as, for some reason, for me, all my animal stories do—was going, I could tell, to take awhile. (Though I'm DETERMINED to keep this one a short two episodes. Way back when I started this blog, I did multi-serieses (??) on a crazed woodpecker, rabid squirrel gangs, and the coyotes that ate my cat. (I linked to those at the bottom of this post) And that's where I learned my lesson about how LONG animal stories, for me, seem to want to take. Well … NO MORE!

  • FreetoBe

    Obviously it tried to eat your face, but C’MON, was that ending very thoughtful of your readers? OK, never mind…..anxiously waits with bated breath/……exhales, inhales, waits/…..etc.

  • http://www.steppingintothelight.net Diane L. Harris

    Okay, John, my first reaction to your title was “nah-uh, did no such thing.” Then you stop in mid-story. Great ploy to keep us coming back for more.

  • http://none Ray Hill

    Weird things happen. I was driving a semi and a vulture hit my windshield as I drove over a flat carcass. The passenger’s side glass had to be replaced. The bird died. :-)

    Catch you later on Facebook.

  • Dan Harrell

    OK John, I’m away for a few days and everything turns weird. Hmmm, Vulture. I understand that with proper seasoning they taste something like chicken.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    No, Dan, I’m afraid you’re thinking of turkey. We’re talking here about turkey VULTURES. They taste like corpse.

  • Latoya

    John, I am SURE that we would not have had a problem if you had finished the story. Suspense is killing me now

  • Joshua

    Full of suspense! This is in intense!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    When I go on hence, my words I won’t mince! (And of me I am now sure your hands you will rinse.)

  • http://rightplaceandtime.blogspot.com/ Colleen

    You must have been a "dead" ringer for his favorite meal on the run. I venture to say the vulture felt just as violated by the visceral volution of your vindicated visage. In other words …really bummed out.

    This is a comment made on the 14th that somehow got stuck in my facebook inbox..(in keeping with the theme of things in ur face. Ouch! Painful I know) My facebook John, by the way, you kinda made me create and now it's giving me all this additional work… You are becoming very high maintenance! :)Happy Sunday!

  • Judy

    How do you KNOW they taste like corpse?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    because we are what we eat

  • Rachel

    I am not positive but I think the Dog Whisper says not to make direct eye contact in these situations . . . to not be fearful, or withdrawal, but avoid eye contact. Something to try next time.

    Smiles . . Rachel

  • Ingrid

    HAHAHAHAHAHA I missed you John. I am just popping back into the blogosphere for a visit and you of course made my trip worthwhile! This was so danggone funny! I dunno what to tell you though. I'm thinking since you still have your eyes you must have done something right. Thank you for the laugh in an otherwise nondescript day. BTW I got a promotion on my job so I am on hiatus, but as soon as I get settled in I'll be back!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Rachel: But do you think it's the same for vultures? I'm guessing for vultures your'e supposed to … let's see .. stare at them and BLINK real fast, for a long time, so they see how totally alive you are.

    INGRID! I was just thinking about you yesterday; I noticed I never heard from you anymore! But your'e back! Wonderful! Congratulations on your job promotion!


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