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What Feeds Fear

A True Story

By Donna Fox (HKB)Published about a year ago 4 min read
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A well known fact about me is that I do not under any circumstance, like fish or sea life in anyway. With the healthy exception that I do enjoy most varieties of seafood on my plate.

To add to my dislike of sea creatures, I should mention that I have once been slapped across the face by a fish.

During a camping trip my family and I decided to go canoeing and the boys were going to try their luck fishing.

However, when my brother caught a small trout and swung the rod across me, so that my dad could release it. That was when it struggled for its life, slapping me across the face. In panic and shock I threw my arms in the air which resulted in tipping our family canoe over, with all its contents.

My father still proclaims that to this day, he has never flipped a canoe. Aside from this one occasion.

This being one of the more humiliating experiences in my life. One that I have yet to live down in the last 17 years, since the incident.

So that being said, I was already not on a great track record with wild water life. Meaning the story that follows will no longer come as a shock to you.

It was a warm day in April of 2008, we were in Orlando Florida.

Our family vacation to Disneyland was winding down. On one of our last days of scheduled chaos we had decided to book a trip to Seaworld.

My entire family loaded onto a tour bus that would take us there. On the way my brain was filled with the ideas of all the different shows we would attend. And how interesting it would be to see all these creatures from behind glass.

The trouble didn’t begin until later in the day.

After we had taken in a fair few of the shows.

We had decided to walk through the aquarium.

For someone who isn’t a water wild life person, the scariest part was walking through a tunnel of glass. Where I was surrounded by water and water wild life. Giving the impression of being inside a giant fish tank.

The creatures seemed so close that I felt like I could reach out and touch them. But that most definitely was not a choice I would willingly make.

Little did I know that it could get much much worse. There were open aquarium sections all over the place, people being invited to reach in and feed the fish.

The aquariums had open tops through which you could look into, from above. There was no glass and no barrier of any kind.

So before I continue any further, I need to provide more background information.

I am a Fox, meaning my last name is Fox. My family is known to be accident prone. Things that you don’t think will happen or even can’t imagine happening, will happen to us.

It’s just the luck of the Fox family, or at least that’s our saying.

That being said, the luck of the Fox family was about to fall upon me that day.

I can not stress to you enough that because of who I am, this story should neither shock or surprise you in anyway. Especially because now it is just one of those fun family antidotes we use to describe me.

Back to the story.

As we exited the full height aquarium, we walked into the field of half height tanks. Ones that we could reach into or lean over to look inside.

Minding my own business and walking onward. I avoided most tanks as I feared falling inside by some freak accident. Not to mention wanting to avoid some kind of Fox family accident.

Finally in the open air, I took a small peak in the last half tank. This one contained mana rays, a smaller cousin of the shark.

A group of people had just moved on, having finished feeding them with the assistance of a staff member.

But as they had moved on, I had stepped up to the glass. Leaning over, I watched the rays glide along the bottom of the 2 foot deep tank. They mingled, wiggling their fins energetically as they passed by each other. Seeming to not notice the on lookers above them.

Suddenly out of nowhere, a large mana ray came zooming up to the glass and surfaced right in front of me. Flipping its body out of the water so that its mouth was at eye level. I stood frozen, in fear. Watching it open and close its mouth several times, before flopping backwards back into its tank.

The sounds that escaped my lips inexplicably resembled that of a dying animal.

I squealed and squacked, running from the tank to my mothers side in complete terror.

This experience further feeding my fear and dislike of sea life.

For years, I am still under the pre notion that I have been attacked by a mana ray and lived to tell the tale.

15 years later I can still picture the mana rays mouth. Replaying this moment of terror in slow motion, as though it’s happening all over again.

It goes without saying that my dislike for sea life will be a lifelong continuation. Which I am in no hurry to change.

ChildhoodEmbarrassmentTeenage years

About the Creator

Donna Fox (HKB)

Thank you for stopping by!! 💚💙💜🩵

If you are interested in longer works by me, I have two books published on Amazon.

Jogger's Trail and Fox in The Hole.

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (3)

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  • Lamar Wiggins5 months ago

    So sorry for laughing at the trout story but the visual of the canoe tipping over was the icing on the cake. Also, I know what you mean by scenes playing over and over in your mind. They even randomly happen at times when there is no motivation to remember them. I found this one on your library article and had to read it. Thanks for sharing!

  • I am so sorry for laughing at you! I couldn't help myself! I'm very fascinated with sea creatures so I was shocked to learn you feared them. That fish bitch slapping you made your fear super valid. And the mana ray, I don't need to say more. Awww, you poor girl. But hey, at least you didn't fall into any of those tanks 🤣🤣🤣🤣

  • Novel Allenabout a year ago

    I have the same relationship with computers, soon as they see me coming. something goes wrong. Enjoyed your story. Hearted, commented and subscribed.

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