A New World of Birds

He always felt uncomfortable around birds. It wasn’t that he didn’t like them, but perhaps he feared them a little, so their presence always had an impact on him. He didn’t quite trust the way they looked at him, or he thought they looked at him, and for some reason their gaze made him slightly nervous. It was that turned-face look that he didn’t trust, the way he couldn’t tell if they had an eye or two on him.

It started when he was a child, and had to walk to the street market with his mother to buy fruits and vegetables. He must have been three or four, and enjoyed those walks where he had his mother just for himself. But what he didn’t like was walking by that one block where someone owned chickens and turkeys and let them run free. The big birds running around him, made him nervous, so he would hold his mother’s hand tight and walk faster.

She knew he feared them, of course, and tried to explain to him that he was safe, but there was no logic to stop his fear. Years went by, and the fear persisted, but something changed. He didn’t fear them as much, and eventually started paying closer attention to their qualities. He took time to really appreciate toucans, parrots, cockatoos, and as he learned more about them he enjoyed certain aspects of them.

He admired their beaks, their feathers, their wings, and their presence. The toucan’s beak was his favorite, so long and impressive, and the colors of the feathers of the parrots made him wonder if he had ever seen colors correctly. The reds, the greens, the blues, all colors changed when he started seeing them in birds.

He still wasn’t comfortable when they flew too close to him, and he was always alert when he thought they were looking at him, but at least he learned to appreciate their beauty. A new world sat in front of him, the world of birds, and he was ready to enjoy it.

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