My Scar Stories

I Was Attacked by a Beautiful Psycho Killer and Lived!

wpid238-fixed-horizon-940x1419It was a Saturday morning in late July. My buddy Ray showed up, tragically bored. Before long we were hopped up on caffeine and had decided to drive to Oregon. Because we were 20. We made sure we properly prepared, though, shoving spare underwear and cereal into a well-crafted travel container (cardboard box). We hit the road ten minutes after we’d decided to go. Because we were 20.

Fourteen hours later we rolled into the parking lot of Lake Siskiyou near Mt. Shasta. We parked in darkness and crawled into the back of my Chevy Vega to sleep. Just before drifting off, I heard a hideous, otherworldly scream. Disembodied Siskiyou spirits?

Night fled. A honeyed-orange sun pierced the darkness, burning majestic Mt. Shasta’s image onto the lake before us, and onto my memory. I sat on the hood of the Vega, eating Cheerios, in awe of the paradisiacal sight. I was an atheist at the time (though beginning to doubt my doubts), but I remember thinking, Explain this, Darwin. There was something intentional about that view.

My reverie was broken by a scream like the one I’d heard the night before. I adjusted my gaze and saw, to my astonishment, a spectacular seven foot wide feathered fan.

It was a peacock, as in a male of the peafowl species. Ray dubbed him “Joan.” Joan and his harem, who looked out of place this side of Iran, were parking lot panhandlers. A stiff shake of the feathers meant, “Will flash for food.”

So I tossed him a Cheerio. He snatched it out of the air. Then another. And another. The wives laid back, picking up cast-offs, but Joan wide-received at least two dozen passes before I slid off the car hood and began packing.

After gathering up everything we’d tossed out of the car the night before to make room for our sleeping bags, I walked back toward the hatch, clutching the big cardboard box.

Suddenly the world exploded. Nails pierced my arms. Huge objects pummeled the sides of my head. A railway spike drove at my eyes, bent on shish-ka-bobbing them! What the…?

It was Joan. I have no idea what set him off. Mating season? Presumed cardboard box assault? Some unintended Persian insult? I had no choice but to defend myself or wander blind forever, blood streaming from Oedipal eye sockets.

So I punched him in the face.

I don’t take pleasure in abusing birds. Foreign or domestic. But it was punch or be impaled. Joan lay stunned on the ground for a moment, then jumped up, ready for more, his head bobbing menacingly. The winner, presumably, would get the harem.

I walked away. Joan hurled insults at me (“Pea runt! Pea chicken!”). I felt like Edward Norton.

Joan was not the only creature who ever scarred me.

But he was probably the prettiest.

Compared to Joan’s attack, this is tea and freakin’ crumpets:

To read my next Scar Story, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Story Power, Videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to My Scar Stories

  1. Wow! Joan had a tude! I love your way with a story – thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: My Scar Stories | Mitch Teemley

  3. Wow – that was quite a Peacock story. Now, I know why you don’t like Peacocks, especially when they attack without warning!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We had a shop once armed with an attack duck.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great line: “So I punched him in the face.”

    Minor suggestion: I don’t think a sentence should begin with “14.” I would spell it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. LOL! Thank you for the chuckle. I loved the whole story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh yeah, you don’t want to mess with peacocks. They can be nasty!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I have a friend who has a peacock. She has to let you out of your car until he gets to know you pretty well. You’re lucky you survived Joan!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gatheringlights says:

    Great story!

    “There was something intentional about that view.” Beautiful perspective;)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jay says:

    I just gave myself a stitch!
    I read the whole thing, then I reread it with just the bolded parts. Great stories.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. @vapor_sage says:

    Well done Mitch, You took me back to those high meadows surrounding, Mt. Shasta and Lassen, beauty unparalleled.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hue Le says:

    I love your narrative, Mitch. I have so much to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Tekoa says:

    ” Because we were twenty!” Love it! ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  14. brunniegetchell says:

    Wow! Love this story. I wonder how a 20 yr old would tell Joan’s story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great story!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ekurie says:

    Yes, they sound like what I imagine a banshee must sound like. They are also fiercely protective of pea-lets (their babies). Though I was never attacked they frequented the private school in Miami where I taught for a while. They also like raisins.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jennie says:

    I loved this story! Humor and adventure at it’s best.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. carhicks says:

    Great story, glad it was nothing serious. That is why they tell us not to feed wild animals. My daughter was attacked (licked in the face) by a giraffe after feeding it at a Wildlife Safari, we thought it was going to bite her. Even though you were attacked, it is funny,. Guess time does that.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Paula says:

    Friends of ours kept peafowl, both male and female, several colored and a pure white one. We were warned on our first visit to the farm not to get close. Peafowl are some of my favorite birds so it was difficult for me to obey. But I have enough scars–physical and in my soul–to keep me telling stories for a lifetime.

    Thanks for sharing another Scar Story.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Tea and freakin’ crumpets! 😀 haha

    Liked by 1 person

  21. gpavants says:


    It is funny now, but not at that moment, right? I loved your tale. I am sure both of wiser with age.



    Liked by 1 person

  22. MummaBug says:

    If they were honey nut, I would kill for those too. If they were plain, that bird was just crazy!

    Liked by 2 people

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