Turkey hunting season in full swing brings back memories of when I snagged my own some years ago. I didn’t even have to use a gun.
I'm pretty sure it was a predestination, as I believe a lot of what happens to us we bring upon ourselves. It all started when my sister made me watch "The Birds" as a kid. She was babysitting me, one of her least favorite things to do, and had strict instructions not to let me watch anything scary because I was prone to getting spooked.
I had a vivid imagination and would create monsters in the closets and under the bed. Heck I had even convinced myself my sister was a real-life monster. After watching the horror flick of people getting attacked by birds, anything flying by with feathers freaked me out.
Childhood fears tend to follow us into adulthood, even though I'm old enough to know a flock of birds won't really try to peck your eyeballs out – although it's always been in the back of my mind to keep an eye out for anything this is feathered and flying . It'd been years since my phobia had cropped up and then, just to test to see if my fear had really flown the coop, I watched "The Birds" again. It began my bad luck, with birds, back into motion.
At first I blamed in on buying a brightly colored van or maybe someone painted a bull’s-eye on the roof and I didn't know it as for several years it was the target for bird bombardier suicide missions. Several flew head first into the front grill, and I'd have leftover feathers flopping around for weeks at a time. The paranoia began causing me to veer to the right or left, which was OK if I was driving alone, but freaked out passengers who thought I was avoiding some invisible animal on the side of the road. For nearly a decade I continued my run-ins with birds and was seriously considering trading my van in for an armored truck. About the time I thought the fly-ins were over, I got my turkey.
I was driving on the highway, going at least 65, when out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw something flying. Trying to get past my compulsive driving behaviors, associated with bird paranoia, I ignored my gut instinct to duck. I probably should have this time.
The turkey hit my windshield with such force I thought I’d been shot. It bounced off, leaving a mess of shattered glass and feathers. I wasn't sure what to do so I kept driving. The windshield looked like a massive cobweb as it drooped and dripped pieces of glass into my lap. I was so overwhelmed by the fact a turkey actually hit my windshield and I finally had proof my van was a bird magnet, I took photos of the feathers sticking out of the crumbled glass.
My first mow of the 10 acres was awesome except for the birds diving next to me for insects. Hopefully they have better flying skills than turkeys.
Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.