Ode To The Spaulding Birds
“Eh… what’s the world with one less bird?” -Rina Drake
My friends, truer words have never been spoken.
I don’t remember ever disliking birds. They’ve never really done anything to me, personally. I don’t have any scarring childhood experiences them that haunt me to this day.*
*But I have seen birds do some pretty fucked up things. One pooped on my dad’s head at the beach one summer, like while he was running. That had to have been on purpose. Another swooped down and snatched half a sandwich from the hand of a kid I babysat last summer. Brady was pretty hungry for the rest of the afternoon.
I realized that I had an issue with birds during my semester abroad in Ireland. There was this picturesque little body of water called the Lough about a quarter mile from my house and these massive birds occupied it as if they were Great Britain in the 1800’s.* So entitled, so condescending.
*Line courtesy of Will, who was on shift with me while I wrote this.
There was a kilometer-long walkway around the water that people would walk and run around. I ran there a couple of times a week because the walk to the gym was too long. (I got caught in my fair share of sudden downpours mid-run there, too. I quickly learned that if you use, “it’s probably gonna rain” as an excuse not to run in Ireland, you will never run ever, probably.)
About halfway around the path, there was this area where all the giant birds hung out.
They were THE WORST. They were like eight grade bullies or political canvassers and they didn’t even scurry away when you ran directly at them. And I know. I tried a few times. So basically I hauled ass through eighth grade bird territory, then really regretted it along the last, long stretch of each lap.
So that was the first time birds harassed me. Back on the UNH campus, I spend a decent amount of time in Spaulding Hall. It’s one of the Life Sciences buildings, and I’ve had two classes and a lab there. On the second floor, there is an ENTIRE WALL OF TAXIDERMIED BIRDS. As my co-worker Will typed it while I was away from the desk, “These terrors are taxidermied and lined up like some satanic-ritual to the glory of their evil.” (This post wouldn’t be the same without you, Will.)
They start off all small and not-terrible.
But shit escalates fast.
Did you know that taxidermied owls stare directly into the depths of your soul? Well, they do.
Tell me this guy isn’t something out of your nightmares.
I don’t know if you can tell, but this seagull is the size of an overweight toddler. I kid you not.
If you’re my friend on Snapchat, you’ve probably already seen these guys.
And if not, then you’ll certainly be well-acquainted with them now.