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The Way I’ve Scene ItBY DENISE POYERfeathers were an unbelievably beautiful color of green. “Is that real?” I asked. The bird head turned and looked at me and then turned and pecked a bird kiss on the corner of the woman’s mouth. I almost gagged. I heard her answer as I hastily retreated. “Nice,” I trailed, “I can’t do birds. Very pretty though.” I could not get away fast enough. My breath quickened and every hair on my arms stood on end. I heard my sister say, “Oh, she loves birds. She feeds them but she can’t touch one.” She was so right. I can barely write about it!Birds and I have a love/hate relation- ship. Occasionally, a bird gets into our building at work. All of the glass is dis- orienting and they get exhausted trying to escape. One day, a trapped bird final- ly came to rest on the lobby floor. His mouth hung open, and he was panting, as was I. With all of the courage I have ever mustered, I scooped him up with my bare hands and took him outside to set him free. I was hyperventilating and was certain I had The TB when I returned, but at least he was free.When the weather breaks, we will put the feeders away until fall, so our beau- tiful, freaky, diseased, murderous, feath- ered friends don’t forget how to feed themselves in the wild.Birds freak me out, but it’s no won- der. When we were kids, a little girl who lived up the road died at a very tender age from aviary tuberculosis. In the wake of that, our parents warned us all to never ever touch a dead bird or a bird feather. Gone were the days of tickling our faces with a newly found feather of a Blue Jay. It was off limits. I just knew I would die from it if I did.They are beautiful and fun to watch, even though I’m sure they all want to kill me. I make suet from scratch for them, so they can have upscale dining.My sister and I were in an antique store a few weeks ago, and as I round- ed a corner, I met up with a woman holding a ginor- mous bird. It’sas I pulled the detached squeaker from it. Yeah, that’s not what it was. It was a dead yellow finch. The store would not let me use their restroom to wash my hands. I almost needed funeral arrange- ments.During the winter vortex this year, I took my abundantly filled suet baskets out to hang in the bird food court that is our yard, and there sat a little bird on the ledge of the green feeder. He was all puffed up, undoubtedly trying to keep warm. “Little man, are you okay?” I asked, a little freaked out that he did not budge, but also not wanting him to touch me in any way. He looked at me with his dark little eyes and stayed put. Naturally, I wondered if he was diseased or maybe dying, but I suspect he just didn’t want to give up his priority seating. We agreed not to touch each other, and I quickly hung my baskets and retreated to the house to wash my hands and call the CDC.Thank You AlfredA FREE public K-12 Academy• Prepares students to excel beyond high school• Accelerated learning according to students’ abilities• Talented teachers create a passion for learning• Outstanding music program• An atmosphere of acceptance fosters self-confidence• Busing from Albion and Battle Creek• Simple, basic uniforms• Free Breakfast and Lunch, for all students• Dual enrollment with Albion College, KCC and Olivet Director - Noah Wilson18203 Homer Road • Marshall, MI 49068 • 269-781-6330A small school environment offering...The frightening and sad loss of poor little Ann was not nearly as life chang- ing as the horror inflicted upon me by my own parents. Seriously, who lets an 8-year old watch Alfred Hitchcock? The Birds was the scariest movie ever made. There I was, with my open-fingered hands plastered over my eyes, watching birds peck at Tippy Hadron, and indel- ible is the scene where an old man sits propped against a wall with his eyes pecked out. That was graphic awfulness, made creepier by people quietly making their way to the car to escape while dirty killer birds nervously kept watch with beady eyes.That’s not all. My sister and I were in a shop in Mackinaw years ago, and I had my hand stuck in the rear end of a dog puppet trying to get the noise mak- er to work. I said, “This one is broken,”EDUCATION ISSUE I SCENE 4403 7

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