Old World vulture

Old World vulture

As I lay here dying at the top of a Tibetan mountain, abandoned here like a twisted version of jhator, the ritual sky burial practiced here, I find myself reflecting on the Old World vulture.

Indian vulture

I also reflect on the blood leaking fast from my extensive wounds.

If you don’t know much about sky burial, the whole idea is that a body is given up to the vulture in the sky rather than a box in the ground. However, it is usually done with bodies that are already dead. That is not the case with me today. While perfectly viable for corpses, I – as a still living person – am finding it extraordinarily painful.

Special powers

If you provoke or frighten the Old World vulture, it will vomit on you. That’s what we in the business call a power move. I tried to struggle more at first, before my strength had deserted me, which is why I am covered in defensive vomit now. The Old World vulture’s remarkably powerful stomach acid, capable of killing most any disease, is having quite the corrosive effect on my open wounds.

The Old World vulture also pees on itself to cool down and stay clean. Is there any bodily fluid it can’t find a use for?


It’s got a big ol’ bald head. The Old World vulture insists that this is a benefit that allows it to keep its feathers clean as it thrusts its head deep into my flesh. “C’mon, bro,” I gurgle through the blood filling my mouth. “Nobody’s buying it, baldie.”

Number of legs



Unlike many birds, the vulture has no song. Intermittent grunts and hisses are the soundtrack to my slow, slow demise. This is my death song.

Magazine subscriptions

Time, Life, Mile, Mite, File, Flight, Milf, Better Homes and Gardens.

What if it fought a bear?

It is hard to tell as my vision grows gray and dull.

Is it noble?


Final rating

I plead with my last breaths to the vulture king to end my suffering. If he knows mercy, I may live to rate again. Until I see evidence of such mercy, I must rate the vulture a…




Would not die by again.


Tagged , , , , , , , ,