Monday, October 26, 2009

Don't Be Hatin' on Buzzards: A Halloween Sermon

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," special Halloween post for Mrs. B and all her Halloween friends! My name is Anne. I live to laugh. Nothing is sacred to me, because everything is sacred to me! For real. I meditate at the laundromat.

My three regular readers will have heard this sermon many, many times before, but not so lavishly illustrated. All rise, please.

We are gathered here today to give thanks to Vulture. Blessed be the Buzzard!

Halloween is a season where vultures get dragged out as decor. Of course! What do they do but eat dead stuff? Zombies with wings, those ugly old birds.

No, no NO! Bamp! Wrong!

The Latin name for vultures, Cathartes aura, means "Golden Purifier." Would such a fabulous name be wasted on a creepy critter? Of course not! Much maligned by our modern cynics, the vulture -- when examined more closely -- proves to be not just a great bird, but a worthy object of adoration.

Let me put it this way. Did you want to clean up that dead skunk on the roadside just west of your house? How very kind of the buzzards to do it for you! They are Nature's janitors, the willing custodians of all things offal. They are constituted so that they can eat putrid flesh, thus removing it from the ecosystem before it can spread disease. And trust me, friends. These birdies can work fast. They can reduce a full-sized, adult possum to a few totally clean bones and a pile of fur in less than six hours. I've seen them do it! (Don't ask for details.)

The Native Americans called vultures "Peace Eagles." The ancient Egyptians protected the pharaoh's children with images of vultures. What do we do? We trot out ugly buzzard decorations on Halloween. Savages, I tell you. We are savages!

Fortunately, there's a growing respect for Vulture in this new, green era of ours. I myself am the High Priestess of the East Coast Vulture Festival, held the first weekend in March every year in lovely, forward-thinking Wenonah, New Jersey. (That's me in the picture. The sacred regalia weighs 25 pounds.) Nor should we forget the enlightened citizens of Hinckley, Ohio, where they've been having a Buzzard Day in March for decades!

If you consider Halloween the beginning of a new year, make a resolution. Vow right now to have a new and more positive attitude toward those graceful bald birds circling above your house. No, they will not kill your kitten! They exist only to clean up the mess, to eat what we won't, and to entertain us with their brilliant aerodynamics.

Will you dedicate yourself to a better understanding of the humble vulture? Please make this Halloween your first to welcome into your life the Sacred Thunderbird. Golden Purifier. Peace Eagle. All hail the buzzard! Halloween lore no more!

Come see us here any time at "The Gods Are Bored." We are an equal opportunity praise and worship team, dedicated to finding employment for discarded, laid-off, downsized, and nearly-forgotten gods, goddesses, and BIG, BRILLIANT BUZZARDS!

Today, we at "The Gods Are Bored" are offering our own appropriate Halloween giveaway. Leave a comment (be sure we can reach you) to receive three fabulous vulture birthday cards! How very appropriate these are for the elderly relative you always want to remember at birthday time! Winner to be selected based on the nice things he or she says about buzzards, so be creative!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hail, High Priestess of the Peace Eagle! Great post!


I shake my tail feathers at you

Buzzardbilly said...

I couldn't agree with this post more! Besides, I covet that High Priestess regalia with every fiber of my buzzardy hillbilly being! You did see that they put the buzzard in the cooking pot for this year's Road Kill Cookoff, didn't you? I gave 'em some what-for for that too. Oh, yes I did.

I keep waiting for a good leafless morning or end of the day light to catch a good picture of the wake of buzzards who roost across the street here.

Thomas said...

I'm strangely reminded of those statistics that I loved to trot out as a child. Things like, "A school of hungry pirranah can skeletonize a cow in under two minutes," and somesuch.

I don't know if this is true but it's a cool thing to be able to say.

Maebius said...

I agree, all hail the peace eagles, Thunderbirds, and Golden Purifiers.
I enjoy seeing them wheel across the northern NY sky all the time, and while I don't decorate with them on halloween (or any other time) they are just as sacred as the wolf or the oak.

PS: I think you have more than three regular readers, but some of us every-day readers are less frequent commenters. :)
Like buzzards, seeing all your posts from afar, and only descending to comment on the particularly juicy posts. :)

Gruvkitty said...

That sacred regalia is spectacular! Wow! I'm a little too enthusiastic about all birds, for my family's taste. I'll swerve to the side of the road to see a hawk above, or rush outside in the pitch black to hear an owl. I'd love love love to see some vultures! It's been ages since I have. Being in Cali, boy what I wouldn't give to see a Condor

THE Michael said...

I wonder if the Thunderbirds would be as prolific were it not for the automobile and the carnage it wreaks on the animal kingdom?

mrsb said...

I think BuzzardBilly should win.

Thanks for hosting us today! And thanks for showing us a different side of the buzzard, one most of us have probably not thought of before. I'm a huge fan of birds, but I never gave much thought to this one. You've definitely made me see the great bird that they really are :O)

For anyone participating in the 31 Days of Halloween, take an extra entry to every giveaway in honor of the awesome buzzard! Just add the word "buzzard" to the comments of each entry after doing the required posts.

Birgit said...

Hi there,

I well remember the one occasion I saw buzzards in the wild while traveling in the American West. My mom was driving the car that day, and we immediately pulled over and stopped. I grabbed my camera, and we left the car slowly and quietly. I took a couple of photos of those majestic birds, just loving to see them for the first time in the wild. It was such a great experience -- something to remember. It's good to know that people like you educate others about how essential and beneficial those birds are for the balance of nature. :)

Greetings from Munich,

Nydia said...

IN Brazil, there are lots of buzzards around, specially around highways leading to Rio! They're the ugliest birds I've seen, but their flight is one of the most beautiful ones to watch, have you noticed it? I'd love to win your cards! :o)

Just came from Mrs. B.'s page, thanks for hosting today, loved your post!

Kisses from Nydia.

Tori said...

Vultures are amazing birds. I have to admit I have never given them much thought. Thanks for hosting us!

Mother's Moon's Message said...

I am always amazed at the size of the buzzard... they are very large birds.

ELLIE said...

just stopping by to say hello from mrs B's blog - love the buzzard story - thanks for sharing said...

No way I can compete with some of these comments, but thanks for an interesting story!

motheralice said...

The Turkey Vulture is the commonest (?) Buzzard in my neighborhood... They wheel in great kettles over the river road and roost across the way. I love them. I just wish they'd wait til all the traffic was gone to land and eat. :)

Gruvkitty said...

Forgot to mention I have a thunderbird on me wedding band!

Aelwyn said...

Awesome blog, and I TOTALLY agree!!!!

Jules @ MoonCat Farms said...

I love your post!

I live out in the boonies of California and we have these flying organic waste removers everywhere. We are very appreciative of them as long as we don't have to ride our horses past them - they scare the bejeebers out of the hosses!


Tammie Lee said...

I love watching these birds. Birds of peace, because they do not kill for food, unlike most creatures including humans. Fun post for Halloween!

Yewtree said...

We don't have vultures in Britain but we do have buzzards. I like them very much, and they have made a comeback in the last decade or so, and are now much more common.

democommie said...

I have no particular use for notecards as I am now, officially, a curmudgeon. Mr. Pablo Picasso and I celebrated our birthdays on Sunday, last, and I did not have to share my birthday Twinkies with him.

The vulture is a bird that is much maligned by those who do not understand his function in the order of things. That would be their problem.