It is fortunate (sometimes unfortunate) that I have the ability to remember things that happened when I was very young. I don’t remember everything, but impactful events stick out to me. I was about 3 and a half years old. My family and I (minus my Dad, he stayed behind) went to my mother’s hometown to attend her mother’s funeral. (What I did at the wake is another story.) I liked it at my grandparent’s house. They was plenty of room to run and play.
Even though most of my cousins are a lot older, there was a Big Wheel on top of a picnic table at the back of the house. I always wanted a Big Wheel, but I only had a tricycle at home. When I look back now, a Big Wheel is just a plastic tricycle that’s lower to ground, so I’m not sure why I thought it was so special. I have always been very independent, so I didn’t want to ask anyone to help me get the Big Wheel off the table. I climbed up on the table and grabbed the plastic tricycle. As I tried to pull it down, I lost my balance and fell off the table. I hit the ground hard and was stunned for a second. When I looked up, I saw it running towards me, its wings up and its beak open.
Before I could stand up, the duck was on me: pecking me and slapping me with its wings. The duck was what my mother later told me was a farm duck. It was white with an orange beak, like the duck on the Aflac commercials. The attack was so violent that I couldn’t stand up. I tried to fight it off, while on the ground screaming, “The duck pecked me! The duck pecked me.” One of my brothers, my sister and one of my cousins came to rescue me.
My family and anyone I tell this story to thinks this is hilarious. Frankly, I was traumatized by it. I had a nightmares for a long time, where I would scream, “The duck pecked me,” until someone woke me up.
So, sometime after this, the duck went into the woods and was never seen again. I was not sad.
And over three decades later, I am still afraid of birds.
Have you ever been attacked by an animal? If so, have you completely recovered?
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