My Favorite Anti-Role Model…A “Man-Eating” Grouse

Once when my husband came back from the land he said, “Guess what I saw today.”

“What?”

“A man-eating grouse!”

He was joking about the man-eating part, of course, but he was attacked…by the bird in the pictures on the left. As you can see from the picture of him next to my husband’s shoe, the grouse wasn’t that big…he must have been deranged to do battle with someone so much bigger than himself. My husband could easily have stomped him, but instead he tried to discourage the bird by soaking him with water from a hose. The grouse declared a temporary truce… he went over and sat on a log in the sun until he dried off.

Then he resumed the battle, so my husband got a broom and kept whisking him away whenever he attacked. He finally got the message and never did it again. He did follow my husband around, though, carefully watching him from a safe distance. When my husband went down into our underground well house he could hear the grouse strutting around on the roof, and the best part of the story was when my husband was driving down the road for home one day. He looked in his side mirror and saw the grouse triumphantly chasing our 3/4-ton truck out of “his” territory.

Not An Isolated Incident?
I’ve been thinking of that story a lot lately because of the big political scandal in the United States right now…Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois trying to sell Obama’s vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder. Blagojevich has taken corruption to a new level, but somehow the situation is laughable as well as horrifying. It seems too stupid to be true. He reminds me of the grouse…sometimes you just have to laugh.

My Anti-Role Model
Even though I’m not as aggressive and belligerent as those comic characters, I’m more like them than I would like to admit. When I think of the grouse playing king of the mountain on the roof of the well house I think of the times when I catch myself feeling superior to other people. And when I think of him taking credit for chasing our truck down the hill, I think of the times when I take too much pride in my accomplishments…when I take credit not only for the hard work I put in, but also for my good fortune in being born in the right place at the right time. And who’s to say that my view of the world is that much closer to reality than that of the grouse and Blagojevich? No, it’s fine to do what we can to make the world a better place, but it also pays to lighten up and have a sense of humor. The grouse story reminds me to do that…he’s essentially my anti-role model, a visual image of how I don’t want to behave. And there’s something about identifying with a deranged grouse to keep me from taking myself too seriously.

What About You?
What do you think?

Thanks to teeni, Diane, rummuser, SpaceAgeSage, Scott and Maya for commenting on last week’s post.
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21 Responses to My Favorite Anti-Role Model…A “Man-Eating” Grouse

  1. bikehikebabe says:

    You can learn something from anybody. Sometimes what you learn is what not to be.

  2. Lance says:

    I’m all for not taking myself too seriously, Jean. Some days, though, kind of like what you’ve described, I find myself acting like I’m better than others. And, this isn’t a good behavior to exhibit. So, I’ll take this reminder of the grouse, too, as one of lightening up. And to remember that we are all people from the same race – the human race – and that I can’t know every step you’ve taken to get where you (the collective ‘you’) are today. And how those steps help to influence how you look at things. So, thank you, Jean – for this reminder…

    Lances last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  3. Jean says:

    Lance,
    Thanks for coming by. This cartoon is another way I remind myself:

    comic character

    bikehikebabe,
    Amen to that!

  4. Evelyn Lim says:

    I definitely second the idea of taking ourselves less seriously. When we do so, we find that we won’t hold on so tightly to our negative emotions like anger or worry. We can also start to see the funny side of life!

    Evelyn Lims last blog post..Affirm Universal Truths For Financial Abundance

  5. rummuser says:

    You must be psychic! I have just been feeling mind you, feeling, not behaving like the grouse. With my father moving in with us, I have been having territorial problems! It broke my heart to first move to a room that we have used as an office for 18 years, secondly to get rid of so many things to make room for the new addition, and thirdly to re-do the toilet to make it comfortable for my father. I lived with a very short fuse for almost a week. I have now got over it but luckily, my father did not use the hose to drench me or use a broom stick to shoo me away!

    rummusers last blog post..What Have I been doing?

  6. bikehikebabe says:

    Evelyn Lim says:
    “taking ourselves less seriously…we find that we won’t hold on so tightly to our negative emotions like anger or worry. We can also start to see the funny side of life.”

    I think I’m going to frame that & hang it on the wall.

  7. Diane says:

    Too funny!!!!

    I have just been gigglin here!

    Thanks!

  8. Jean says:

    Evan,
    You remind me of a fellow in a class I taught on Dealing With Difficult People. He didn’t come because he wanted to learn to handle people like that, he wanted some tips on how to become more of a nuisance for his boss. It still tickles my funny bone to think of him. Thanks for the reminder. :)

    Evelyn,
    I agree! It’s also a lot easier to interact with other people because our ego isn’t at stake.

    rummuser,
    My heart goes out to you. That’s a big adjustment…there are a lot of losses to mourn. Please let us know how it goes. I hope your father is easy to get along with…that would help a lot.

    bikehikebabe,
    What do you find funny in your everyday life?

    Diane, :) I’m glad you liked it. The story was too good not to share.

  9. SpaceAgeSage says:

    Grouse don’t have the brightest reputation, but I’ve never heard of this before. Sounds like it and Blagojevich are both narcissists!

  10. Jody says:

    I think there’s deep spiritual significance to that experience with the grouse: and it DOES involve having a sense of humor!

  11. bikehikebabe says:

    Jean asks –bikehikebabe,
    What do you find funny in your everyday life?

    Some of the youngest generation have asked me to be a “friend” in Facebook. It’s the crazy/funny pictures & things they say there. I’m getting a large charge out of that.

  12. Anne Gibert says:

    I live on a rural island in the Pacific Northwest, and we had an attack pheasant that patrolled the road by the church and harassed people as they gardened. It also chased cars. We had to carry sticks for defense when we walked past. After about 8 months a large dog killed it and ate all but the feathers. I kind of miss that ornery bird.

    Anne Giberts last blog post..A Christmas Carol, or A Christmas Fiasco, Act I

  13. Jean says:

    SpaceAgeSage,
    We were certainly surprised and amused. :)

    Jody,
    I agree!

    bikehikebabe,
    Good for you!

    Anne,
    That sounds like a goose, doesn’t it? I’m not sure I would like having to carry a stick. The nice thing about the grouse was it was so small.

  14. bikehikebabe says:

    I read Anne Giberts last blog post..A Christmas Carol, or A Christmas Fiasco, Act I. (Click on her comment above.)

    The most delightful, put together, piece I’ve read. We do plays in a simple way here in Los Alamos, New Mexico. This crazy extraordinarily elaborate production description is delightful & informative.

  15. Jean says:

    bikehikebabe and Anne,
    I’m looking forward to reading how it all turns out. That’s the great thing about blogging… it’s sometimes the fiascoes that make the most entertaining posts.

  16. B.Wilde says:

    I love that grouse and I love how you applied the situation to real life. There’s always so much to learn from even the small things if we just pause for a moment and think. You always seem to add a sense of depth to your postings which makes your writing so rewarding to read. Not only is he an anti-role model, but he demonstrates courage for me as well.

    B.Wildes last blog post..A Few Random Christmas Memories…Because You Never Know

  17. Jean says:

    B. Wilde, :) Thank you. Exploring the little incidents in life is what I love to do. No big goals for me…they’re too future-oriented. I like having a direction, but it’s not the end of the trip that counts. That’s why I love your story about your grandpa.

    I like your point about him showing courage. He didn’t give up easily.

  18. Hi Jean,

    Yes, it’s interesting that we had the same approach to Governor Rod Blagojevich. The world doesn’t really need another person lamenting the breakdown of ethics “out there” in the rest of the world, but it could use a few more people willing to look “in there” to see if they are in any way part of the problem.

    Thank you for the tale of “the man-eating grouse”. He is, indeed, an anti-role model worth remembering!

    Peter | The Change Blogs last blog post..The Universe Works If You Get Out The Way

  19. CG Walters says:

    It was a Goethe Grouse….”be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

    I once had a grouse hen court me when I was walking into the forest. I sat down to talk with her, and she walked around me over and over, throwing leaves over her shoulder when she stood before me.

    blessings to you and all you hold dear,
    CG

    CG Walterss last blog post..Loving Couples

  20. Jean says:

    CG,
    I’ll tell my husband to stick to the ladies next time. :)

    Thanks for coming by.

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