Flying Fear


“That bird does not want to eat you.”

Mango squawked his disagreement. Our moody Sun Conure perched on his homemade wooden stand on the lanai, the relentless Florida sun pressing through the screen, even in early April.

Mango had just enjoyed a warm lanai shower, via the hose, and now anxiously watched the dark brown bird gliding overhead. We live near a large cluster of woods, and various birds and creatures visit our bird feeder all times of the day and night.

Vultures often fly overhead, long jagged feathers outlined against the bright blue sky. I wonder if they see our dog’s battered, stuffed animal toys dotting our fenced backyard and inspect them to make sure they’re not potential meals. ūüôā


But whenever the vultures appear, Mango sets up a loud cry, his purring warning cackle followed by loud squawks. No matter if I stand beside him and reassure him, scratch his head, or offer to hold him (all on the lanai), he’s done. He wants inside, soaking wet or not.

His fear of the huge birds overwhelms him to the point he can’t function, despite the fact that I’m right there, vultures don’t eat live animals, and he’s safe inside the screened lanai.


Fear has a big place in my life. Too big, at times. I detest it because I’m familiar with its crippling hold on my heart and actions. How many times has it held me back from stepping out to obey the Lord in something outside my comfort zone, or kept me from trying something new.

Fear keeps us frozen in place, or running backward. And that’s the opposite of God’s plans for us.

I appreciate 2 Timothy so much. The Apostle Paul’s words to young, beloved son in the Lord Timothy have kept fear at bay many times in my life.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (1:7) 

If you have vultures flying overhead–know they’re not a threat. Don’t be fearful.

You’re already protected under the shadow of the Almighty, believers. You are privileged to dwell in the secret place of the Most High. ‚̧ And that’s the best place to be.¬†


That Time I Washed My Bird in the Washing Machine

So let me tell you this story, which unfortunately is quite true.

Maybe I should let Mango tell it. He was there, after all, and the story’s all about him.


Mango with a favorite treat, blueberries.


Me: Mango, tell us what happened last Wednesday, if you can.

Mango: Can I get some fruit first at least? (Chews. Eats .054% of the pineapple). Okay. It all started with the comforter.

Me: Tell us about the comforter.

Mango: It’s blue and red and cozy. But dangerous. I’ll never land on that comforter again.

Me: Why is that?

Mango: Why? WHY!? Because that comforter went swimming in the blue machine with the door on the front. The one right by the garage door.

Me: I know the machine well. (Grimaces at washing machine)

Mango: And now I do, too. (Spits remaining food at me.)

Me: I didn’t do it on purpose! It was an accident, and I feel awful.

Mango: As you should. SO, I fly to the comforter, and snuggle in. Apparently you’re not paying attention and shove it in the washing machine. So far, I’m fine. Just snuggled in. There’s some strange noises, and bam, things get wet. Including me.


This is *not* after the washing machine incident. This was after a lovely warm shower on the lanai.
Me: Oh no. And then what happened?

Mango: *squawk* I can’t believe you’re asking me to relive this trauma.

Me: No pressure.

Mango: Pressure? Of course there was pressure. The comforter gets wet, I get smooshed in tighter, and I’m soaked. Just soaked. Like a drowned rat, except I’m a beautiful bird.

Me: *Moans regretfully* I’m so glad I noticed right away that you weren’t on your cage or in Cole’s room. God was watching out for you. He kept pointing me back to the washing machine, which had been going for about 30 seconds at that point.

Mango: 30 seconds?! *Squawks. Flutters wings* Good thing someone was watching out for me.

Me: Tell us what happened next.

Mango: Suddenly there’s clicking sounds, and the lights turn back on, and I’m pulled out of the washing machine, but I’m still inside the comforter. I hear you and the blond child calling my name, and I manage to pop out and squeak.


This was also not after the awful washing machine incident. My mom¬†felt¬†so bad she was crying and couldn’t take a picture.

Me: You were soaked and blinking fast and trembling, poor little thing–

Mango: You bet I was! And then you smother me with a blanket again! And force me to get in my travel cage and go to that vet office where they poke and prod me. (Though I did enjoy the little heater thing that warmed me up.) I’ll pass on the drugs and poking though.

Me: You needed to get checked out. Thankfully you were okay, and now you need to take your antibiotic so you stay well.

Mango: But it’s gross. *Fluffs feathers*

Me: It is not. It tastes like cherry. You like cherries.

Mango: Real cherries, not fake medicine-tasting yuck cherries.

Me: So, you’re doing okay, and you’re fully recovered? Because I’m not fully recovered. It was traumatic for me, too. I feel so-SO bad.

Mango: I’m doing better. Mostly. A couple feathers are out of place but I can fix those. *Preens*

Me: And I’ll never close the washing machine without making sure I see where you are first.


Mango: Indeed. I’m not sure I’ll ever stop smelling like laundry detergent.

Me: It does give you a fresh kind of smell…

Mango: I already smelled fresh! Now, are we done here? And where’s that walnut you promised me?