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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

You know the 12 Days of Christmas Song? "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me..." Well, I would break up with my true love if he attempted to pass any of those gifts off to me for Christmas. I never, ever want a partridge in a pear tree, 2 turtle doves, the french hens, four calling birds, geese a laying, or however many swans a swimming. I want none of it. Birds are freaky, freaky animals and I do not want anything to do with them.

You should probably know where this hate of flying creatures stems from. If it had just been an occasional dive-bombing beak into back of the skull by a nesting bird, witnessing my loved-ones getting splatted on, or being very young on a picnic with my family and having a large bird fly away with my hamburger, the birds and me could quite possibly still be homies.

But the final straw for me was on my 12th birthday, when my friends bought me a bird. I am afraid of birds, but I had to act like it was a cool, amazing gift in front of all my party guests. I could see the silhouette of the cage under a sheet on the gift table, and I was hoping that it was just a joke. As my friends unveiled the cage and my eyes met the bird's eyes, I wanted to cry. I had to smile and act thrilled instead, as my friends all urged me to take him out of the cage and put him on my finger. I slowly opened the cage but the bird nervously snapped back at me, trying to peck me with his sharp beak.

Things only got worse when I brought him home. That bird woke me up way too early and gave me nightmares and the creeps, especially when he quickly figured out how to open its cage door and exit the cage without my knowledge. He would appear in odd corners of my room and just stare at me. If he got loose during the day we were all so afraid of him we would have to wait until my dad got home from work to retrieve the bird with a towel. He was manic on his creaky little swing too! (The bird, that is, not my dad). Luckily, one of our neighbors was a bird trainer (I know, how random is that? Really, who is a bird trainer? If it were a part-time gig, she still wore the whistle around her neck like a P.E. Teacher full time!) Even she said that the bird had deep-(bird)-seeded issues so it was finally ok to give him away. Birds live very long lives I might add, so I was ecstatic that we would not have to grow old together.

Speaking of 2 Turtle Doves, when I was 9 years old I found a turtle in my backyard. We lived in a neighborhood and there is absolutely no way that a wild turtle just wandered into our fenced in yard, but that didn't stop me from making it my pet. I scooped him up, put him in our recycle bin, went into the fridge to gather some lettuce to feed him, and then took him into the front yard to show all my neighbor friends the newest edition to the family. The mean fat kid from next door noticed everyone gathering around and he came over to see what was going on. Ends up it was his pet turtle and he insisted I give it back. It was a humbling experience. But I can always say that I had a turtle for an afternoon, and that makes it all worth it.

So anyway, back to "The 12 Days of Christmas". My true love, where ever you may be, please take note for future reference. Do not take gift advice from this song. That is, unless you want to give me "5 Golden Rings" and in that case, please make them diamond rings. But no birds. Ever.