National Geographic: Boston Daily Edition

1199824690I almost died today. It’s true.

I was on my way back from the gym — where I got totally swole, incidentally — when two other staffers and I happened upon an incredible scene unfolding on Mass. Ave., near Boston Daily HQ.

There, in the middle of the street, was a falcon. (I think it was a falcon. Who am I, Jack Hanna?) From a distance, the bird looked as big as a small child, or maybe as small as a big child. Anyway, it was large, and it was fiercely protecting some kind of unidentified prey in its talons.

Traffic in both directions snarled to a halt, and motorists beeped and screamed in an attempt to scare the bird out of the street. Didn’t work. Our fine feathered friend just stared back defiantly.

Meanwhile, pedestrians gathered and began taking pictures. It seemed like a good idea, and I decided to join them.

Turned out to be another of my many mistakes.

As I approached the bird and prepared to snap a photo with my cell phone, it left its makeshift nest in the middle of Mass. Ave., spread its majestic wings, and flapped its way right toward me. I can’t impress this upon you enough. The thing was on a direct collision course with my noggin (which, in the bird’s defense, is admittedly oversized and an easy target).

Somewhere along the way, the falcon released whatever it was clutching. One of our staffers says it was a pigeon, which was still alive and happily flew away. I wouldn’t know. I didn’t see it. I was a little busy.

That is, I was running for my life.

While I was running, I had visions of its terrible beak tearing away pieces of my flesh. I also may or may not have let out a scream along the lines of dear god! It’s unclear.

About five or so yards from impact, just as its cold, evil eyes locked on mine, the bird dipped its wing, pitched upward, and took to the skies above. It was a lucky turn of events — for the bird, I mean.

In retrospect, and despite fleeing, I think I could have taken it.

PHOTO from National Geographic