Monday, August 29, 2011


SKI REPORT #20091106-03
LOCATION: Kaimuki / O‘ahu / Hawai‘i

I’ve noticed that whenever my wife travels and I’m alone in the house, strange things tend to happen. It’s as if the “coast is clear” for odd or creepy occurrences. Whenever my wife is around, bizarre incidents cease for some reason, or if something weird does happen, at least she’s there to validate that I hadn’t been imagining things and tell me, “Babe, you’re not crazy.” I deeply appreciate my wife’s unconditional love and reassurance.
One Wednesday evening in March, she left to compete with her hālau in the Merry Monarch Festival, a popular hula competition on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The first night she was gone, I swear I felt something watching me. Watching me as I watched TV. Watching me as I brushed my teeth. Watching me as I got ready for bed.

There always seemed to be a strange presence in the room, like an uncomfortable pressure. All night I tossed and turned and as a result, didn’t get more than three hours of sleep. The following morning, Thursday, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. My sinuses were stuffed up and there was a tickle in my throat I couldn’t get rid of.

By Friday, I woke up completely nauseated and tired, with my stomach in knots. My head throbbed so painfully I could barely focus on anything else. I had a monthly meeting I had to go to that I never missed. I felt so sick I was thinking of canceling.

At that moment, my wife called to check on me. I told her how awful I felt and she asked if I was still going to the meeting, as she knew how important the meetings were to me. I was about to tell her that I wasn’t going, when I realized that if it were her, she would fight through her illness. So I sucked it up and told her I was going to the meeting. After she wished me well, I splashed some cold water on my face and pulled myself together as best I could and hopped in the car.

I managed the 15-minute drive without passing out and parked a couple of blocks from our meeting place. I sat in the driver’s seat, dreading the walk to the building. It wasn’t a particularly long walk, I was just worried I might faint on the street or do something equally as emasculating and embarrassing.

I hoisted myself out of the car when suddenly I heard a high-pitched chuckle. Startled, I looked around and saw a mynah bird staring at me from the telephone wire above my car. I hoped it would fly away and find somewhere else besides my car to do its business.

I started walking and turned at an intersection, when a shadow swooped past my head. It was that same mynah bird. It flew up onto the street sign in front of me, still staring.

Ignoring the pesky bird I continued on my way. But once again, the mynah flew past my head and perched upon a nearby fence. Annoyed, I clicked my tongue at the bird, but it wasn’t phased. I sighed and crossed the street onto the next block. As I continued my walk, the mynah stayed with me, repeating its pattern of swooping past me and landing a few yards in front of me. Fence to wire, wire to sign, sign to post. It kept pace with me all the way to the back entrance of the office building where our
meeting was being held.

As I approached the back gate, the mynah jumped onto the railing right next to me. Since the bird seemed so bold, out of curiosity I held out my hand towards it, it didn’t even flinch. I took out my cell phone from my pocket and snapped a photo of it next to my hand. The mynah unnervingly stared right into my eyes. “I'm going now, goodbye!”

Had I really just talked to a bird? I shook my head and walked into the courtyard heading toward the building stairwell. I took a deep breath and tried to clear my head, as the last thing I needed was to lose my balance and topple down the stairs. As I stepped onto the first stair, I felt a scratching upon my backpack.

I turned to see the mynah scurrying up my backpack! It climbed onto my shoulder and perched. Again, it stared into my eyes. “What? You wanna come with me?” The mynah didn’t move. It just sat there so I climbed up three flights of stairs feeling like some kind of crazy pirate with a bird on my shoulder. When I got to the meeting room I asked, “Are you coming to the meeting?” The fearless mynah didn’t move and continued to stare at me. I opened the door and entered the room.

As soon as the people present at the meeting saw my new friend, it flew out of the room. One of the ladies exclaimed, “What the heck was that?”

I told her it was a mynah bird and explained to everyone there what had happened. Another lady, Sherry, rolled her eyes and said, “Yeah, right!” But when she opened the door, we found that the had mynah had merely relocated to the outside railing.

“Quick, give me your cell phone,” Sherry said, “so I can take a picture of you and your new buddy.” I went to stand next to the mynah but as soon as Sherry raised the phone, the bird began to walk away.

“Move closer to it!” Sherry instructed, waving me closer to the bird.

I scooted towards the bird and Sherry pulled the phone up again. The mynah started moving away again so she quickly snapped the picture. She inspected it and said, “You need to get closer, the bird looks like it's hanging out in the background or something.”

Sherry stepped outside through the doorway and the bird flew away. But as it left, I realized that my stomachache had subsided and my head felt a lot better. The nausea was also gone and for the first time since my wife had left, I felt calm.

What makes this experience so unique is that Hawai‘i’s mynah birds are wild. They typically do not interact with people. However, this mynah bird was different. It actually consistently maintained eye contact and felt comfortable enough to perch upon my shoulder. Had the mynah somehow relieved me of my illness? I know it sounds crazy, but after it flew away, I felt better than normal, at peace. I believe in family animal protectors, or ‘aumakua, but my family’s ‘aumakua is the shark, not the mynah bird.

By no means am I unappreciative of the healing the mynah provided me that day. It just surprised me, and pleasantly so. The mynahs gentle feet upon my shoulder felt similar to that of a reassuring hand, letting me know that everything was going to be just fine.

WRITTEN BY: Gabriel Del Aragon
for Spooky Kine Investigations

EDITED BY: Courtney Kunimura
for Spooky Kine Investigations

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