So, a few weeks back I learned a difficult lesson.... One I think that was only a matter of time, something I had only heard of but never truly gave much notice (or credibility....)... See as a relatively naive American girl, having grown up in middle-safe USA, far away from the more vicious forms of wildlife that the world can offer... I did not believe, no surely, the things I heard... And this is where I introduce you to exhibit A. The very first clue toward what I was bound to learn:
Now mind you, the first time I saw this I thought it was pretty funny... Then I thought it was some bizarre, cool trend to look "bad ass" or something... Like when people wear those dog spike collars on their necks... But then I noticed lots of people with these things sticking out of their helmets... People who traditionally aren't too concerned with putting off a "bad ass" vibe... Like grandparents... and cute little children... and overweight, middle-aged men... Hmmm... So I turned to my expert in Aussie lore, tradition, culture, and overall behavior, my dear husband Mick... Now apparently it all has to do with the birds... that's right, the crazy, psychotic, Norman-Bates-Motel- Alfred Hitchcock Birds. Apparently, there are two main types of birds here in Australia, the magpie and the plover, that are known to be particularly malicious and aggressive if they so much as get annoyed by some innocent passerby... For example, in this case, someone out for an innocent bike ride. Hence the spikes in every body's helmet.
After Mick told me this, I honestly must say it was still a bit hard for me to imagine a scared, innocent little bird actually having the nerve to attack a big human... So I moved on... Days passed, I went outside many times, to parks, beaches and saw tons of birds... none of them ever attacked me or even came close. And so it was that I became lulled into a calm, false sense of security that I carried with me up until a few weeks ago.
|The Plover... In his field.|
|A picture of the plover haunting me outside our living room window.|
I am proud to say that I survived my brush with the Plover and have lived to tell the tale. I have learned my lesson. Never again will I question the things I learn from my loving husband about this crazy country of his... And now... well, those spikes on the helmet are looking like a brilliant idea...