The Birds 

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A. lives in Nevada. Besides being a poet, A. seems to like animals. Animal lovers get an A+ in my book.

I've already told everyone about A's popcorn parties for the crows and pigeons.

A. also holds French fry parties for seagulls. One special beauty sheds a bit of pooh-pooh on the blah-blah idea of seagull as mangled in Jonathan Livingstone Seagull.

Sometimes A. is plain old prosaic with a bird feeder like everyone else. At least she has the sense to take gorgeous photos of her wards. (Reportage on the photo here.)

Too bad A. finds the cooing of pigeons annoying.

I am a pigeon lover. In all the bird squares in the world (Piazza San Marco, Asakusa, etc.) I have been seen feeding the pigeons. The cooing is what gets me. I blame Prince. I even moved into an apartment with a known infestation of pigeons to relieve the former tenant; because of his allergy to pigeons, Shinichi squatted on top of the bathtub, aimed his water gun through the bathroom window to shoot off the nest of pigeons. Though they never slept, I rather enjoyed the constant baby coos of the pigeonlings in the ceiling.

In the last three months, my parents have evolved into pigeon lovers too.

First, it was bread crumbs on their tenth floor window ledge. Now they buy sacks of grains.

They phone me from Romania to tell me their pigeon anecdotes. On Sunday morning, my mother lured a pigeon into her hand. She grabbed it and shut the window. Then she cradled the bird and studied it. Then she released it.

My father made an interesting observation.

Pigeons, when feeding on the narrow window ledge, will stand atop each other and stretch their necks down to eat the grains. No pigeon fights with another pigeon. They share.

"No wonder pigeons are the birds of peace," said my dad - in Romanian, one word stands for pigeon and dove.

I am already a hamster spinster; am I ready to be a pigeon lady?

The Blue Wyvern tried to convince me that being a pigeon lady is where it's at:
There are indeed many benefits to pigeons as opposed to cats. The pigeon lady gets to keep her dwelling-place free of animal by-products, as she consorts with her chosen creatures outdoors.

(There is one other example of the pigeon lady in "literature." She exists in a trashy novel a friend recommended, about an old blind Parisian virgin who convinces a painter to show her the ways of the world.)

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