Tears keep spilling over my bottom lashes and onto my cheeks while I’m typing and I feel like a total idiot.
My pigeon Mr. Waddles has died.
He was a disabled pigeon friend who I shared my sandwich with every day.
He even pecked on the window one morning when I wasn’t quick enough getting out with his portion.
He was stubborn and proud and resourceful.
We recently had some rain – and when I went to see where he might be, I startled him out of a little alcove – but he had no cover. Mr. Waddles was soaking wet, so I made him a box – which he didn’t use.
Seeing Mr. Waddles in the rain was about the sweetest and saddest thing you ever did see.
He couldn’t fly like most pigeons, instead he did what I referred to as a ‘chicken fly’ – you know, a lot of flapping, not a lot of height, but some sort of airborne moment. He was unable to reach anywhere to roost, so he kept on the move all day. Smart, considering the roadrunners that share the territory.
I thought out loud just the other day about how much walking he did! I mean, I know pigeons and most scavenger birds do a lot of walking, but he had no choice. I wondered if his legs were bigger because of it. (As if he was meant to have awesome calves from all the working out.)
Anyway, when I pulled into work each morning, there he was, huddled alone.
And once I parked, he would head on over towards our office.
After I opened up, turned off the alarm and put down my things – I’d get my sandwich and give him breakfast.
It was 3:30 pm today when I decided I probably needed a coffee – I was sitting yawning with one of the owners.
I grabbed my wallet and headed across the road to the convenience shop.
I knew it – knew it before I even reached him.
I saw ‘something’ in the parking lot and as I got closer, sure enough, there lay Mr. Waddles.
Earlier I had noticed him across the road and mentioned he was being picked on by another pigeon. One of the owners said “He’s going to get hit.”
I didn’t agree – “He’s smart! He can do his chicken fly thing and get out of the way.”
I guess I was wrong.
I turned around and headed back to the office – grabbed a box and went to collect my friend. I didn’t want him repeatedly hit like he was just any old roadkill.
R.I.P Mr. Waddles.
I looked forward to seeing you every morning – and even if I was just nut and seed wheat bread to you – you meant something to me.
I hope you’re flying now – that your wing is fixed. In fact, I hope you’re a super roller!
This is for you x
Saw a pigeon earlier in the week with a broken wing. Then yesterday morning, at work, another (same??) pigeon waddled by the office window with the same wing!
I decided I must feed it.
Apparently there is no pigeon food around the office – actually, there’s not much of any food around the office right now.
I sent an urgent message to my boss – went a little something like this:
Subject – ‘Pigeon with a bum wing’.
I found a trail mix bar and scurried out the door.
Couldn’t find pigeon.
Then ended up walking right past him as he nestled in an alcove behind spider webs.
He came out of his little wind breaker area and waddled off away from me.
Here I am stalking the poor thing saying “Hey! Hey … I have food”
He didn’t care.
I’m tossing bits of trail mix at him and trying to remember if that thing about pigeons remembering faces is true or not.
Evidently it is true http://www.livescience.com/14895-pigeons-recognize-human-faces.html
Maybe if the person the face is attached to is tossing food directly at your rear while frantically pursuing you, the pigeon does not consider this a good thing??
I’m nice to the pigeons (much to everyone’s chagrin) but obviously I haven’t made enough eye contact with them since they keep flying (or quickly walking) off when I come near.
(OH! They’ve rebuilt the nest by the way. Muah ha ha!!!! And it is magnificent. I’m so proud.)
I must remember to bring a bag of bread crumbs and stare at them until they memorize my face!!
Maybe put a photo up by the nest?
Would have to put one down in the alcove too … for Mr. Waddles.
There’s a zing in the air! No, really – this time of year, you’re prone in this neck of the woods (or desert) to get shocked every time you touch your car, open a metal door or make contact with a shelf in a store. But I digress. There’s a zing in the air!!
My sons gift is on layaway! I won’t say what it is because I still delude myself into believing he’s interested enough from time to time to read my blog. I’m pretty sure the only time he does, is when I make him so I can hear what it sounds like from a readers point of view.
Anyway. I left the store and noticed all the pigeons finding shelter from the wind under cars. Adorable. All puffed up like they were courting. I would have taken a photo of my personal car pigeon, but I forgot to turn the alarm off before I opened the trunk. Needless to say my photo-op left.
Here’s one courtesy of the web – is this where I say I don’t own any rights to the pigeon photo? Because I don’t. (What’s the penalty for ‘borrowing’ an image? I do it a lot).
I also came home with a pantry organizer. It hangs over the back of the pantry door. If the dog was capable of laughing, she’d probably already be snickering at the fact that I think I can build this thing.
ALMOST came home with a chocolate advent calendar. It was on sale. The picture on it was so cheery and holiday-ish, it fit my mood. I left it at the grocery store, I figured I might be pushing that chocolate a little having it sit waiting for its little doors and windows to be opened for over a month.
As I left the store, and after I filled the car up with gas – I was fit to burst with happiness. I figured it out. What makes me happy. Being able to provide the necessities for the people in my life and to spread a little joy. I was so excited to bring the groceries in, and believe me, I KNOW how fortunate I am. So very grateful to be able to afford food and gas. And I love that I notice the pigeons trying to stay warm.
I get you little car pigeon – I’m a nester too. 🙂