When ostriches, ducks, and deer attack… ME!

In theory, I agree that we should be working as a society to keep animals from becoming extinct. That commercial with the polar bear on the little tiny piece of ice makes me incredibly sad and makes me want to give all my money to save them. And those Sarah McLaughlin Humane Society ads literally make me cry.

Until they show the cats.

Because I REALLY hate cats.

I can see where, on paper, cats look like great pets. You don’t have to take them out like you do with dogs, and if you’re going away for a few days, as long as you leave out extra food and water, the cat will be fine.

On paper, they’re the perfect pets.

But that doesn’t take into account the fact that they are completely and utterly evil and disgusting. And even though I love pictures of the cats that look like Hitler, I feel like in real life, I would still hate them. 

In fact, I have to admit that except for schnauzers (which are the cutest dogs on the planet. I don’t care how cute you think your pet dog/cat/iguana/dung beetle is, Rosie is cuter and you’re just in denial), I’m not an animal person.

I don’t HATE animals. (Except for cats and bugs, which I do believe should be forced to go the way of the dinosaurs.) I’m just very wary of them. Because they hate me.

Need proof?

Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty.

Contrary to popular belief, my first sentence was not, “I want to go shoe shopping,” or “I love you, Bruce Springsteen.” Although I do think those were my second and third complete sentences.) It was, “Duck bite hand.”  (Clearly, I wasn’t yet the grammar Nazi as I hadn’t mastered past tense, but in the subject-verb-object sense, it was a complete sentence.)

And it was true. When I was about a year and a half, my parents took me to “Old McDonald’s Farm” in Wheaton Regional Park. Which I think means I got off lucky that the duck only bit me. Because apparently even the ducks go hard in Wheaton. The ducks there today are armed.  I’m telling you, watch out for those Wheaton ducks. They may LOOK sweet and innocent, but they’re vicious.

But despite being the victim of a duck attack, I still liked animals. Until a year later. When I developed my lifelong fear of ostriches.

And I know I explained earlier this week that some things in my blog are exaggerated, this one isn’t. It actually happened. And is one of my earliest memories (although my very earliest was of going to see Snow White in the theater and freaking out when the dwarves came on. In all fairness, singing dwarves with pickaxes ARE pretty creepy. I think more people SHOULD have worried about a Snow White being all alone with seven creepy little men).

When I was two and a half, an ostrich STOLE MY LUNCH.

We were at the gated lunch area at a petting zoo, but apparently someone left the gate open. I was sitting next to my mom and across the picnic table from my dad. My mom pulled out my peanut butter and jelly sandwich—here’s how vividly I remember this: it was crunchy peanut butter with strawberry jelly on that awesome Pepperidge Farm cinnamon-raisin swirl bread, cut into four squares. She put three of the squares on top of the ziplock baggie for me to eat. I was about to pick up the first of the squares when this massive, eight-foot tall, evil, THING comes over to our table and, inches in front of me, swoops down and in three quick pecks, eats my sandwich!

Ostriches are serious jerks. I mean, you don’t take someone’s peanut butter and jelly on cinnamon-raisin swirl bread sandwich. You just don’t. But you also don’t mess with a bird that’s five feet taller than you. Even if they’re not from Wheaton.

Birds aren’t the only creatures that come after me (although one did give me a not-so-nice new-car present the day I bought my car. When I had the top down. Most birds crap ON a new car. This bird crapped IN mine).

I’m pretty sure I’m the only one on the planet who has had a deer run into them, not while driving, but while jogging.

(Although apparently I’m not alone because I DID find this picture.)

Normally, deer avoid people like I now avoid ostriches. They see one and take off running in the opposite direction. But no. A deer sees me out running with headphones on and thinks I’m an easy target. Then again, that happened in College Park, so I’m pretty sure the deer was actually trying to rob me. And it barely clipped me, because I used my cat-like reflexes to trip and flail wildly while falling into the ditch next to the path when I noticed the deer coming at me.

My run-ins with the animal world have made me super cautious. For example, I’m terrified of sharks and alligators. Which might sound odd, because I’m NOT particularly scared of lions, tigers, or bears (oh my).

But there’s a good reason for that. I stay out of the woods at all costs, and the odds of me being on an African savannah where a lion or tiger would find and eat me are pretty slim. The odds of me being in the ocean (where sharks live), however, are pretty high. And the odds of me being Florida (where alligators live), are even higher. Why? Because I love Disney World AND beaches.

And if anyone is going to die in a freak alligator or shark attack, it’s probably going to be me.

At least I now know that there are no alligators in my toilet, thanks to Snopes.com. However, the website doesn’t say anything about ostriches hiding in my closet, man-eating ducks under my bed, or alligators ringing my doorbell.

And according to old school Saturday Night Live, sharks are crafty and will impersonate delivery men.

So just to be safe, I always look for ostriches before eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You can’t be too cautious. Because an ostrich will fight you for peanut butter and jelly. And trust me, you do NOT want to fight an ostrich.

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