The bird attack: My worst nightmare becomes reality

I was attacked by a bird last month.

But, let me re-phrase that.

I am scared of birds and I was attacked by a bird.

Do you know what it feels like to have overcome your one greatest fear in life? I mean, I guess I overcame my fear since I am obviously living to tell it. But, now I am even more fearful that it will happen again!

Bryce and I were sitting on a bench outside eating bagels. We were approximately 6 hours away from watching the Women’s World Cup finals live in Vancouver and were at Granville Island Market. Worrying about whether or not a seagull would steal my food was the least of my worries. I had been torn all week on which team I would be cheering for, the U.S. (my home country), or Japan (my mother country).

There were lots of seagulls around. One flew directly over us (but, significantly high above to not freak out) yet I still made a comment about “those birds!” to Bryce. He told me that the birds wouldn’t bother me. He is never wrong, which is why I believed him.

I held one half of my rosemary-salted bagel with cream cheese in my left hand and my right hand held a large piece of the other half. Bryce and I weren’t talking much since we were enjoying our breakfast. (Sidenote: if you ever find yourself in Vancouver, you need to make a stop at Siegel’s and have a bagel. But, just eat your bagel indoors!)

I was in mid-chew when it happened.

I didn’t see or sense that it was about to happen.

A seagull flew from behind and swooped in and grabbed my piece of bagel out of my right hand.

I don’t think I screamed right away because it happened all so fast. I looked at my hand and then looked at Bryce and yelled, “IT TOUCHED ME, THE BIRD TOUCHED ME. UGHHHHH!”

“Are you OK?” Bryce answered softly.

I looked down at my hand again and then I realized that the piece of bagel in my right hand was no longer there. I was in such a shock that I didn’t even know right away that it had taken the food from my grasped fingers.

The bagel half that survived.

The bagel half that survived.

“IT STOLE MY FOOD!” I yelled through now a few tears and laughter.

I could tell that people all around us were now staring so I tried as best as I could to “play it cool.” Inside I was dying.

“I hate birds!” I screamed as Bryce and I walked back into the market. I had to make it known to the onlookers that not only was I an innocent person who was attacked by a bird, but that birds are the one thing in the world that I despise.

We went inside to find a bathroom for me to wash my hands. Not finding one right away, I doused my hands under a Purel machine that was on a wall.

“GROSS, GROSS, GROSS, IT TOUCHED ME!” I said aloud.

We found a bathroom shortly after and I ran my hands under scalding hot water and washed them with soap. I washed them three times.

We returned outside but this time to the non-water facing side of the market. Bryce found a vacant bench and suggested I finish what was left of my bagel there.

“I’m supposed to eat outside after what just happened?” I asked, now sort of being over-dramatic.

He pointed out that there were literally no birds flying around this bench. I sat down, defeated, and finished my breakfast. I now gripped tightly onto my bagel with both hands the entire time. When I was chewing, I wrapped the bagel up completely in the wax paper it came with. I wasn’t going to take any chances.

Bryce also may or may not have shooed away a sparrow that I felt was walking a little too close to me.

It’s not a surprise to many that I am scared of birds.

When I’m on a run with Bryce or a friend, they don’t make fun of me when I frantically duck and sprint a few strides when a bird flies over me. It’s just a part of a normal run for me.

I just never thought I would become victim to a bird attack.

And, yes, maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing. It could have been worse. At least the seagull didn’t linger or peck at my head or poop on me! I probably would’ve fainted if any of that had happened.

“You handled that really well,” Bryce told me. “I’m proud of you.”

If anyone had overheard him saying that to me, they probably thought I had done something really noble or triumphant.

But, no, I was attacked by a bird.

And, while I was laughing at the time, no part of it do I think is funny.

Taking the water taxi back to the mainland ... reflecting about the bird attack ...

Taking the water taxi back to the mainland … reflecting about the bird attack …

I don’t think it’ll ever be funny.

That’s just how much I hate birds.

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