Last week I admitted publicly that I have a bird phobia and stated that it was founded. It is true that the visit to the Falconry Tinninculus took some of the fear from me. But where did this fear come from? Perhaps you have a phobia,too; many people are afraid of spiders and snakes, for example. Not me. My father used to have two full grown boa constrictors. Spiders can surprise me if they crawl quickly over a wall out of nowhere, but I'm not afraid of them. They won't harm me.
My ornithophobia was caused by ostriches and emus. Just like the funny ones from the Zoo Heidelberg, which are pictured here. They are famously large animals and I have always secretly thought they must be closely related to dinosaurs. (A few years ago I found my suspicions confirmed in an article that scientists believe the dinosaurs were the precursors of modern birds)
I was a little girl, about four years old when we visited a nearby animal park, "the Catskill Game Farm". For some reason, now forgotten, I was having a raging tantrum on that day and my parents and uncle warned me to stop and calm down. Otherwise the animals would eat me up. Back then the emus and ostriches were allowed to move freely in the park. And what had to come, did: I didn't stop crying and yes, the flock of ostriches came and did what the adults had in jest prophesied: The birds surrounded me and started hacking me on the head with their big beaks. While the other adults laughed, my father recognized very quickly the seriousness and danger of the situation and saved me. (Thanks, Dad)
How many of us carry such stories around with us? Stories that prevent us from doing things? This true story almost prevented me from visiting the Falconry Tinninculus and their fine hunting birds. I would have missed out on this experience and not have been able to illustrate that scene.
Sometimes you need to find just the right bridge. Sometimes it is so that the weight of the past leaves you tired and exhausted. In that case, you should put it down. Just put it behind you. Pack it in tissue paper and place it with the memories that you no longer need. Feel free to share your fears that you have packed away in the comments below.
I still have great respect when it comes to emus and ostriches. Even if my fear hasn't entirely disappeared, it has been reduced to a trivial size. I can even laugh about ostriches now, like in the todays Wimmelsearchtip of the Week. They have a beautiful feather dress and are said to be as easily scared as chickens are. (THAT gives a new meaning to "You big chicken!")
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