As is the case with each of my past three residences, I inevitably attract a plethora of wild-life to my back yard through the placement of various avian feeding devices.  Occasionally this can cause some concern amongst some of our not-so-fauna-friendly neighbors.  Related to one such incident in my current home, not so long after moving in, I received a strange phone call one evening from one of my neighbors.  The conversation went something like this:

Approximately 6:00 pm: Ring…ring….ring…

Me: “Who the hell is this calling now?”

[Pick up the phone….]

Me: “Hello”

Caller: “Hello, is Marc there?”

Me: “Can I ask who’s calling?”

Caller: “Oh, ah, this is Jane Doe.” [real name withheld to protect the psychotic]

Me: “And you’re with….?”

Caller: “Is this Marc?  This is Jane Doe your neighbor.”

Me: [have met her once and have no idea what her last name is] “Oh, sorry Jane, the only people who ever call the house line are selling something.”

Jane: “Marc, I just wanted to call you to discuss something which is bothering me” [here we go]….”You feed the animals doesn’t you?”

Me: [silence]

Jane: “We’ve had a lot of deer and wild turkeys coming through our yard and we’ve never had that before.”

Me: “and…?”

Jane: “I don’t feel comfortable sitting outside on my patio…” [I stop listening at this point…something about lyme disease and deer ticks…]

Jane: “Do you feed the animals on the ground?”

Me: “No.” [a total lie]  “I just have the bird feeders out for the birds.”

Jane: “Well we’ve never had all the animals around in the yard before.”

Me: [me thinking…yeah you stupid bitch…they just appeared when we moved in….just call me Noah]  “Jane, I’m sorry you feel that way, but the deer and turkeys I’m sure were already here.  There’s a big field right next door.  And with all the new housing going in, it stirs them up and they move around between the neighborhoods.”

Jane: “Well it makes me uncomfortable sitting outside.”

Me: [thinking I should mention something about the bear spotted a few miles away in Center Valley, the bobcat and coyotes spotted near Wassergass Road, West Nile Virus and Avian Flue].  “What would you like me to do?  I’m not going to stop feeding the birds, so I don’t know what else to say.”  [you crazy bitch…go back to the city]

Jane: “Well, blah, blah, blah…” [me flipping her the bird out the kitchen window]

Call ended…extreme laughter ensues…

What the hell was that about???!!  Is this woman actually afraid of Bambi and her mom and something you eat for Thanksgiving?  What are they going to do?  The deer may snort at her and stamp their hooves, right before they run away.  We haven’t even seen the bucks in several months, with their razor-sharp pointy antlers.

And the turkeys….are you kidding me?  I have four females…you should see their fangs…and ten baby turkeys.  The funny thing is, the deer are afraid of the turkeys.  Wait until the 40-plus pound males show up in the fall strutting around in full feather.  She’ll never leave the house.

What she forgot to mention were the potentially disease infested skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, foxes, bats, snakes and ground hogs all of whom visit my yard on a semi-regular basis.  And what about the cats….My God, the cats!!!

I was hoping all of my neighbors would be cool.  I guess there had to be at least one wacko.  She had better not start anything.  She doesn’t know who she’s messing with.  I got rid of the pesky French neighbor and his wacky wife within six months of moving to Raleigh.  She’d be easy.  I already know her weakness…

Zoophobia!…fear of animals.  In her case it may be a combination of the following:

  • Meleagrisphobia: fear of turkeys
  • Odocoileusphobia: fear of white tailed deer
  • Leporidaephobia: fear of rabbits
  • Sciuridaephobia: fear of squirrels…not to be confused with Aero-Sciuridaephobia: fear of flying squirrels

I foresee pans of cracked-corn lined up on the property line behind her house.  The critters will never leave.

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs

Scourge of Zoophoic Neighbors

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