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Attack of the Pelicans!

I know bad things happen to everyone; and what one person considers being a good moment, another considers the scariest thing in the world. Some of those oddly scary things stick with one for the rest of one’s life—from age six all the way to fourteen in my case. But honestly, could any sane person ever forget attacking pelicans? I think not.

It started in 2002 when I was six. We were traveling around a lot then in an old Mallard travel trailer and had just gone to Florida. Everything was so beautiful and the air smelled of oranges (not too surprising since there were orange groves and trees everywhere). We—my family and I—wanted to have as much fun as possible on the trip and there were many options in sunny Florida; one of which was “feeding” pelicans at a nearby pelican reserve.

I don’t know what exactly I was expecting to see when we got there, but it certainly was not what I did see: a woman running out of the trees where the pelicans stayed, a giant pelican right on her heels and another in the air flapping after her. Both picked ruthlessly as her as she ran, terrified, to her parked car. That probably should have been our first clue to drive away as fast as we could, but we didn’t; instead my mom and I walked inside the visitor center to buy pelican food so we could walk right on into the pelican-infested trees. Sadly, after parking the car, we did just that.

It was horrible. I don’t know which there were more of: pelicans with an attitude problem or tears. . . Maybe both were ruled out by the blood of someone unlucky enough to be pecked in the nose. I remember passing a little boy completely in tears; the poor kid had been expecting nice birds he could get right up to and feed, and instead been given pelicans willing to attack if one didn’t fork over the food fast enough.

For the most part I think I handled it surprisingly well, but that might just be because of how shocked and scared I was of getting pecked; I didn’t have enough energy, or time, to cry. Still, we got out of there as fast as was possible. But getting away quickly didn’t stop me from having nightmares about pelicans. . . Pretty darn scary nightmares too since, really, who expects that sort of thing from birds? Especially ones that one is feeding and not hurting? It’s not something commonly expected, which is why it was so scary when it happened.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

DreamerGirl said...
Jul. 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm
Wow! You sure have a great talent! Not everything is as it looks :)) Great job! Keep writing!
 
ArianaNightengale replied...
Aug. 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Thank you so much! It's nice to get some feedback. :D

"Nothing is as it seems. . ." Opens up new worlds of possibilities for the behavior of those pelicans.

 
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