Monday, January 21, 2013

Duck, duck, goose!

Superstitions are very interesting things. It is something you see in pretty much every culture in the world. Every society thinks that some particular action or event  will cause bad or good luck to occur. We see it everywhere from people not opening umbrellas indoors, avoiding walking under ladders, throwing spilled salt over their left shoulder, and avoiding black cats.

Not all superstitions are common though. There are some that are a bit obscure. One superstition that I always found to be less well known says that if a bird flies into your window that it is bad luck. I have always thought it was certainly bad luck for the birds, since most of the time when this happens they break their necks.

The first time I ever heard this one I was in 6th grade, so I was about 11. We were at my soon to be step fathers house for the weekend. My mom was watching his two young daughters while he was at work. His house was out in the hill country of central Texas and was surrounded by nothing but trees. In fact the house sat atop a large hill and the only road up was a barely paved goat path. The only other houses on the hill belonged to a couple of his brothers.

As we were watching TV that morning a bird slammed into the sliding glass doors in the living room. We were all pretty well startled by the event, but it was my mother who uttered the superstition aloud. At the time I didn't really think anything of it. Mom was always saying things like that.

Now a couple of hours later, as we were rushing my soon to be step sister to the hospital after a large metal crate had toppled onto her while we were playing and snapped her leg into several pieces, I sort of gave the superstition a second thought. We certainly were visited by bad luck on that day.

I am a superstitious person. Enough so that from that day on I get a little twitchy when birds start flying headlong into my windows. Mostly the only bad luck I have observed is that of the birds dying. Our dog loves it when they hit the window because it means a snack for her.

So yesterday morning I was sitting on my couch being all sickly. I was sitting there in the morning quiet when I heard the distinct sound of a goose honking. The noise was coming from the backyard and was getting louder. This is not too uncommon since we have a lot of birds living on the golf course. Normally though the large birds just fly over our house.

This time though as the sound got louder I realized I could see the goose through the back picture window, and it was not veering up at all. I think the bird only realized the problem a few feet from the window. The honking was cut short by the smacking sound of the goose flying right into the window.

Now like I said, the bird had realized its error in judgement before it hit the glass. These few moments of realization kept it from doing damage to my window or to itself. By the time I got up from the couch it had already flown off back towards the golf course.

It was by far one of the strangest things I have ever seen. Still I could not help but to sit there thinking about the old superstition. I am left to wonder if the size of the bird makes any difference in the amount of bad luck you receive. If it does, and a sparrow snapped my 5 year old sisters leg, what kind of doom awaits me from a full grown goose flying into my window?


  1. Ha! I'm not sure what the rules are, but I just read the end of this to Sister and she says, "It's inversely proportional." So I think you should be on the look-out for paper cuts and inoportune red lights on the way to work.

  2. I will happily go with that ruling.