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Birds are for the birds

I know that ornithophobia is the fear of birds.

What I want to know is if there is a word for the hatred of birds. Well, specifically one bird. Which lives in Prince George and apparently delights in trying to get humans (like me, to use the term loosely) in trouble.

Saturday morning I was out for a walk in my neighbourhood, enjoying the chance to get outside in reasonably nice conditions for the first time in about a decade (OK, a slight exaggeration there).

As I was walking along, not pushing it too fast and just enjoying things, I was crossing a street at a corner. I observed a pothole in front of me, and was preparing to take evasive action so as not to step into it or onto the edge.

Enter, stage left, the villain of the piece.

A bird appeared seemingly out of nowhere and just flew right in front of me at head height. I was, to say the least, startled.

I took a step forward, turning my head to make sure the bird wasn’t coming back on a second run – and had my left foot catch right at the edge of the pothole.

This resulted in my ankle twisting somewhat dramatically, and I stumbled forward a couple of steps trying to get my balance back.

When I did so, and made sure the bird was not coming back, I realized there was (big surprise!) some pain in my ankle from the sudden twist.

I thought quickly back to the moment of pain and realized I had, thankfully, not heard anything snap, and my foot was pointing in the direction it was supposed to. Both of these, my very limited medical experience told me, were good things.

There was, however, still a fair bit of pain, as I found when I started walking again.

What was supposed to be a walk became more of a hobble. And I knew the worst was still ahead.

As I believe I have mentioned in previous columns, to get to my apartment I have to climb a couple of small flights of stairs. There are handrails, so it became a sequence of step up with the right foot, hop up with the left, trying not to land very hard on the left foot and causing more sharp pains.

Later that morning, after I had reassessed the situation and determined it was not broken, my sister brought over an icepack for me to use on the ankle.

I think I am going to survive, but I am definitely going to keep my eyes open for that bird. I’ll be able to recognize it, I’m sure.

It will be the bird looking at me and laughing.

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