There’s something about birds that terrifies me. It started when I was a kid. We read an excerpt from Daphne du Maurier’s “The Birds” in school and that same week I caught a few of the worst minutes of Alfred Hitchcock’s film when I went to see what my dad was watching on tv.
How terrifying can the story really be? Read for yourself:
“As he jumped the stile he heard the whir of wings. A black-backed gull dived down at him from the sky, missed, swerved in flight, and rose to dive again. In a moment it was joined by others, six, seven, a dozen, black-backed and herring mixed. Nat dropped his hoe. The hoe was useless. Covering his head with his arms, he ran toward the cottage. They kept coming at him from the air, silent save for the beating wings. The terrible, fluttering wings. He could feel the blood on his hands, his wrists, his neck. Each stab of a swooping beak tore his flesh. If only he could keep them from his eyes. Nothing else mattered. He must keep them from his eyes. They had not learned yet how to cling to a shoulder, how to rip clothing, how to dive in mass upon the head, upon the body. But with each dive, with each attack, they became bolder. And they had no thought for themselves. When they dived low and missed, they crashed, bruised and broken, on the ground. As Nat ran he stumbled, kicking their spent bodies in front of him.”
-Daphne du Maurier
Growing up, we had a variety of pets at home– dogs, cats, fish, lizard, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and even birds. We must have had at least a dozen parakeets throughout my childhood. I was friends with of our first two parakeets, named Romeo and Juliet. It’s when my younger sister got her favorite parakeet named Cleo that my life officially changed forever. My sister knew I had a small discomfort with birds that I was working on. Unfortunately that did not stop her from letting Cleo out of the cage whenever I was in the room. It was as if Cleo could sense my fear too, because she’d always fly toward me! I had to hide under tables and literally run away from her through the entire house at times.
I really do feel like birds can feel my fear. I’ve had to cross the street to avoid flocks of pigeons in the city. I’ll occasionally try to cough loudly in an attempt to discreetly scare birds on the street away from me without people realizing I’m too scared to share the sidewalk with a bird.
I’m not the only one. Lucille Ball, one of my favorite actresses ever, had a fear of birds. Rumor has it that she refused to stay anywhere with birds incorporated into the decor. According to Teen.com, One Direction’s Niall Horan has ornithophobia because a pigeon attacked him while using the bathroom. Scarlett Johansson is afraid of birds too. According to Page Six, Johansson says it runs in her family.
Former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe had to deal with birds on her season, and I felt her pain as I watched!
Still, with my fear of birds, I love them! I love any clothing or decorations with birds. I find them to be beautiful. My sister created a graphic art dedication to pigeons a few years ago (click here to check it out) and while I pretended to not like it at the time, I secretly loved it!
While out buying some fabric for an upcoming project, I found myself adding prints with birds to my cart. My mom asked me what I planned to do with it. I don’t know yet, but I’m excited to see what the finished product will look like!
I don’t understand my irrational love for bird fashion, but I will continue to enjoy them as long as they don’t come to life one day like Chuckie.