(Hawk fledgling, standing at the aerie's edge, trying not to look down, every feather on his body shaking)
Fledgling's Dad: "Son, you can do this. Look at your sister. She had no problem flying. Got the hang of it on her first try!" (Gives said daughter an approving poke on the head with a pointy talon.)
Sibling: much snickering
Fledgling's Mom: (heavy sigh) "Well at least we don't have to worry about him being a follower."
Fledgling's Dad scoffs. "True. Can't see him jumping off a bridge just because his friends did."
That phobia led me to thoughts of other phobias and how difficult an animal's life would be if burdened with them. Like Claustrophobia, the fear of being confined or having no escape. Living with that if you were an ant or a hibernating bear could be pretty scary.
And Agoraphobia, the fear of crowds:
Sea lions.....Emperor penguins.....honey bees
A few creatures, like ants, birds and bats, wound up in more than one phobia category.
Nyctophobia/Achluophobia/Lygophobia, fear of the dark. I came up with a long list for this one. A bad thing to struggle with for a bat, owl, badger, coyote, nocturnal predatory Big Cat, scorpion, Tasmanian devil, lobster, opossum, crocodile, racoon, aardvark....firefly.
Aeroacrophobia is the fear of high open spaces. That poor hawk fledgling would be in this category too. And what would happen to monarch butterfly and hummingbird migration and a host of other migratory birds if half of their ranks were stricken with aeroacrophobia?
So those are some common phobias . I had fun with lesser known phobias like:
Ostraconophobia, the fear of shellfish
Sea otters, cranes, herons, seagulls, (the last three would be hit with a double whammy if also inflicted with hypsiphobia), stingrays, groupers, starfish, puffins, whales...flamingos
Almost as bad as if you were a dolphin, shark, salt-water fish, sea otter, walrus or baby sea turtle paralyzed with fear because of Cymophobia, the fear of waves.
Then there are the color phobias:
Leukophobia- Fear of the color white would be rough for
a snowy owl, arctic fox (only in winter though) and
polar bear. And any albino critter. And white tigers, and white rhinos...
Melanophobia- Fear of the color black would take its toll on a....
Being plagued with Gelotophobia, the fear of laughter (can you imagine such a thing!), would take the zing out of a happy laugh for a hyena and chimpanzee and a host of other animals who produce laughter-like sounds. Like dolphins. And kookaburras.
Hylophobia is the fear of forests. Imagine how quiet a camping trip in the woods/forest would be if the animal residents were stricken with this?. And if they had Nyctophobia/Achluophobia/Lygophobia going on too? Nights would be quiet as a tomb. Creepy.
I had a lot of fun writing this and now it's your turn to come up with a phobia that would make life hard on a non-human.
Tag, you're it!