What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Who are you calling a chicken?

on February 22, 2013


It amazes me that some visitors to our home refuse to come out to the coop and pay homage to the feathered wonders that are my Gillybirds. A few have admitted to an overall fear of birds, one to an actual fear of chickens. Fear of chickens is alektorophobia. Or “being chicken about chickens”. I’m not mocking, hens have sharp beaks and very sharp feet, flapping wings, and people may have unpleasant associations of a visit to a farm as a small child whether the smell, the noise, being pecked at for food or like an experience of mine, being chased by and hissed at by geese. Movies like Hitchcock’s The Birds don’t help either. It can be hard to be sympathetic until I consider my own little fears or phobias.

You may find it hard to believe but I was always afraid of dogs, specifically dogs barking. Cynophobia can make life difficult. I used to plot my route to school or out walking my baby brother in his pram (he has just turned 40 this month) so that I could avoid dogs barking at me from their gateways. If I had friends with dogs I wouldn’t visit them, or I would insist that their dog however small and cute would be locked away. I know some of you reading this have experienced this first hand, and thank you for your tolerance Katie! Of course now as an owner of two dogs, I can understand the body language and sounds of dogs much better. Daily exposure to dogs from their adorable puppy stage, learning to train them and having many pleasant experiences with them has completely cured me of this phobia.
I think my fear of dogs is linked with my fear of balloons, fireworks, thunder, or basically any sudden unexpected loud noise, known as ligyrophobia or phonophobia. My mother tells the story that when I was a baby she asked a visiting nurse to be quiet as I was sleeping. The nurse swiftly and loudly clapped her hands above my pram and I responded by almost jumping out of my pram in fright. This may or may not have been the start of what could be an embarrassing, socially limiting ridiculous fear. Some people can be very kind about this, others just laugh. Growing up during the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland there were frequent house shaking explosions which meant at the least property damage and at worst loss of life. I don’t doubt that this life experience also contributed to my condition.
The thunder phobia has passed over the years. A month camping in France with horrendous thunder storms every night helped with this one!
At firework displays I put in ear plugs but am known to be a sweaty irritable mess by the end of the event.
Even doors slamming loudly can trigger an uncomfortable response.
Balloons though are the worst. Fear of balloons even has a name – globophobia. So don’t be laughing! In order not to pass on my fears to my children we have balloons for most celebrations in the house. I blow them up tentatively, I tie them together as delicately as if they were unexploded nuclear devices and when the party is over they are flung in the garden for the dogs, or the Gillyboys to pop far away from my hearing. I have no problem with helium balloons. A party room full of loose balloons rolling round the floor and a couple of sugar-overdosed high energy children is just the worst and I usually leave until the balloons are all popped or the kids are gone. It is no doubt to do with the control of these bright, colourful orbs that have a nasty way of popping unexpectedly. And I don’t mean the children!


Without making myself sound like a complete phobic ridden mess, I also don’t like heights or enclosed spaces. Enough said for now. None of these feeling dictate my life for me. It is only now and again they jump out and surprise me. Or maybe I have surprisophobia!


One response to “Who are you calling a chicken?

  1. amaryllislog says:

    It’s a good thing I’m not your neighbor, I would be over everyday wanting to take park in the birds daily happenings.

    On the other subject (phobias), have you heard of or read the book Quiet? It’s about introverts and extroverts. Some of an introvert’s behaviors are sound based and over simulation. Super interesting and gave me insight on why I feel the way I do as an introvert.

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