The Pigeon Story, in which a Bunch of Old Ladies Overtake Me

If I were a pigeon, I would take umbrage at the delcension of my reputation.

Once accepted as a sacrifice to the Lord and later serving man by carrying messages in World War I, pigeons are the victims of a massive smear campaign. How would you like it if your name was synonymous with rat fink, stoolie, chump, or sucker? A pigeon is an easy mark, a patsy, and here's the worst one: a dupe.

Scientists have studied homing pigeons for years; they still don't know how pigeons fly so far and make it back home. So who's the dupe now? And don't even call a pigeon pigeon-hearted. In WWI, homing pigeon Cher Ami saved the lives of two hundred American soldiers and received the Croix de guerre--that's a French medal given to those who perform acts of heroism in the face of the enemy. (Read more about that here.)

Homing pigeons flock in a park nearby my house. I like their pink feet and the emerald iridescence of their necks. I went to the park the other day armed with a loaf of stale white bread. Everything was fine until these old ladies showed up with a bag from Panera Bread. No sign of arthritis here; their fingers were nimble and sure, ripping and shredding Asiago loaves and tossing the gourmet crumbs like confetti. My birds defected, leaving me with a lone squirrel hunting for acorns. The old ladies laughed and squealed, and I'm pretty sure I heard one of them snicker at me.

One thing about pigeons is they never hold a pose. Somehow, I caught one straight on.

This guy's no dupe. I call him The Terminator.


Danette said...

Man, that bird sure looks mean.


Danette Haworth said...

Yeah! I think he was coming to get me--you know, for trying to pass off the stale bread.

Church Lady said...

Oh. My. God. I just started reading "Wringer." Have you read it? It's by Jerry Spinelli. I hope it has a happy ending.

Danette Haworth said...

Church Lady,

I know of that book but haven't read it. My poor pigeons would kill me!

Yes, I hope it has a happy ending, too.

Anonymous said...

It DOES have a happy ending! Loved that book--you've got to read it if you love pigeons!


Church Lady

Danette Haworth said...

Church Lady,

Thanks for posting back on Wringer. I'll definitely put it on my list.