“How are you going to save the environment and all the animals if you’re scared of everything? Huh?”
I scooted to the edge of the couch as my friend, Masha, tried to push her guinea pig onto my lap. “I just… I just don’t like small animals.”
“She doesn’t bite!”
I stared into its beady eyes. It chittered. Masha pushed the guinea pig once more in my direction, and I fell off the couch trying to get away. “Stop, I’m scared that I’m gonna hurt it. It’s so small, so… fragile.”
“Fine.” She put the animal back in its cage. I sighed in relief.
“This is your stretch zone. Pick up the turtle, it won’t hurt you. You can’t wash its pool if you don’t lift it and take it out.”
“But what if I hurt it?”
Trevor rolled his eyes. “It’s got a shell, you dummy. It’ll be fine.”
“You do it then.”
“It’s your job. Your stretch zone.”
“Fine.” I gingerly picked up the turtle by the sides of its shell. It kicked around in the air trying to get free. I whimpered as I carefully placed it in a holding bucket.
I pouted at Trevor, “That was scary.”
“How are you going to survive the rest of the year with all these animals if you’re scared of everything?”
If asked what my biggest fears were, I would probably blank, or say I didn’t really have any.
But I do. And I didn’t realize it until I was overcoming my fears every single day. That’s Brazil for you.
I didn’t realize I was scared of Parrots until I was cleaning out 33 different cages in the Quarentine at R3 Animal. But I wasn’t allowed to be scared, that wasn’t in the job description. I had to stick my vulnerable hand into each cage 6 times. Once to take out the shit stained newspaper, and again to put in new sheets. Another hand in to take out the food bowl, then again to grab the water bowl. After washing them both, I’d have to stick my hand in again to place the food bowl with fresh fruit, and a final time to put in the fresh water bowl.
Each time, I had to be careful not to startle or anger the parrot, or else risk having my fingers bitten off. Sometimes, I’d be able to distract them with a stick or a piece of fruit on the opposite side of the cage for just enough time to let me do my job. More often than not, I screamed as I jerked my hand away from the menacingly sharp beaks.
I haven’t gotten bitten yet though. I’m just scared. But I can’t be, not if I’m trying to save the animals.
Love and Peace,