When Husband forced me to see the Flights of Wonder bird show at Animal Kingdom, there was a character in the performance that claimed to have F.O.B. (Fear Of Birds). I immediately connected with this character.
I love animals. I even like birds. In fact, I had a pet bird when I was little. It was a cockatiel named Spikey. Maybe, Spikey is where my bird issues began. I LOVED animals as a child. I wanted to be a veterinarian, live on a farm, and rescue every animal I came across. Also, I wanted to hold and snuggle every animal, including Spikey.
Birds, however, do not enjoy snuggling, or even being pet. I found it very difficult to interact with Spikey. I took it personally, and never understood what Spikey had against me and my cuddling ways.
I had issues with parrots too. The pet store in my hometown was my favorite place in the mall. They had hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, and rabbits out for people to hold and cuddle anytime! I often stayed in the store snuggling these rodents while my Mom racked up the sales items at JCPenny.
My favorite snuggle partners were the bunnies, which were also the most challenging. You see, two giant parrots guarded the bunny container. These parrots sat on top of perches above the bunny home, and angrily squawked and pecked at anyone who reached their hand towards the bunnies, namely, me.
Getting a bunny out was like going shopping with Husband. He screeches at me, tries to knock the item out of my hand, but I still get what I want in the end.
The parrots never physically hurt me, but they scarred me, emotionally.
Costa Rica is known for having some really beautiful birds. While traveling through Costa Rica we stopped at several places that kept birds in a bird type sanctuary or in a rescue facility. The first place we visited with birds is called the Peace Lodge. I chose to keep my distance from the birds, but Husband had different plans.
He decided the best way to get over my fear is to enter the Toucan house. Can’t you see the excitement on my face?
My Mom-in-law happily allowed one on her arm. So, Husband tells the worker that I too would love a toucan on my arm.
Even as we walked around the grounds and Zoey spotted a pretty bird in a faraway tree, you can see the fear in my eyes as I curl my hand towards my face… It could attack at any moment!
I know this fear is irrational, but I still chose to spend my time with the butterflies instead. I think that’s a good start to working my way up to birds.
By day four I had a real break through. We visited the Animal Wildlife Rescue and Reserve in La Fortuna where we got to volunteer and meet and pet lots of wild animals. At the end of the tour we were allowed to feed the animals after preparing their food. I REALLY did not want to miss out on any aspect of this, so after skipping the first 10 birdcages, I finally entered one.
I’m not the only one who conquered a fear. Zoey and Mom-in-law went zip-lining (although Zoey has done it before, and Mom-in-law only did the beginning..). Still counts.
AND Peter, Dad-in-law, and myself did the Tarzan swing! The Tarzan swing is a terrifying free fall where the rope catches you at the end and you wind up swinging up as high as the tree tops, just like Tarzan. Attached is my video. Spoiler alert: I scream like a fool.
Our entire trip was thrilling. I don’t think I’ll be adopting a bird anytime soon, but maybe I’ll actually look at them next time I visit a zoo.