Hawks vs. Pigeons

A pigeon walked in to an art gallery . . . Sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it happened yesterday to me while I was sitting at a gallery co-op where I am a member.  It was my turn to be there to man the gallery.  It was around 3:00 p.m.  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a movement low on the floor.  Dressed in its best gray with red feet, head bobbing, a pigeon strolled along the carpeted floor.  We keep the door open during the day.   The air conditioning is on so it stays cool.

I realized in one of those moments where you see a number of possible scenarios flash before your eyes that this might be a bad thing.  If a human were to come in behind it and startle it, the bird might fly.  The gallery space is not large, but there are a number of places where a bird could land and perch out of reach.  I stood up slowly and casually walked toward it.   Pigeons are used to navigating their way around humans.  The bird turned around and walked back out the door.  I followed it.  On the sidewalk another pigeon waited.  It wore a slightly mottled gray outfit.  Together they turned like a familiar old couple and together walked down the sidewalk towards the nearest cafe.  I watched them go.  It made me laugh.

Years ago when my son was still living at home, after he had gotten his falconry license he got a phone call.  Our small town newspaper had carried an article about him with his birds and the local vets had his name and number to call when a bird was found.  Ladies in a shop down in the tourist district said they had found a “baby hawk” and wanted him to come identify it and take it to take care of.

I remember the expression on his face as he talked with the lady on the phone.  He frowned and gave his head that little shake.   “I doubt that this is a hawk,” he said, “but I’ll go see.”

I don’t think it was even an hour later that he arrived back at the house.

“Well?” I questioned.

He started laughing.   He described the group crowded around the cardboard box.  Hushed talking and pointing at the occupant of the box he looked inside.

“Its a pigeon” he told them.

The women at the store seemed angry, “Just look at that beak and its feet.” they exclaimed.

“It’s a pigeon” he said.

They didn’t  let him have the bird, even though he offered to take it off their hands.  His own red tail would have loved to have it.

“Did you laugh” I asked.

“No”  he said smiling that familiar smile, “not in front of them . . . they were so sure it was a hawk.  I think I made them angry.  There were so many people there . . .”

After I ushered the pigeon out of the gallery yesterday I called my daughter.  I told her about the event.  I wanted to call my son too.   He would have found it amusing.

Connections between people come in all shapes and sizes.  Little things that get glued together by love like a collage.  I do not try to avoid thoughts, I do however have to brace for their impact.

My daughter was home for almost a week. I loved having her home.  We talked about so many things.  We talked about her brother because he is a part of our life together.  It was a good visit.   It was tough to let her leave.   I wanted to crush her into me there in the driveway as she prepared to return home.

My poor children have had to deal with a mother who adores them.

I wish I had taken a picture of the pigeon.

I have yet to find the sweetness in parting of any kind.

About pathfinder

Artist, Writer, Walking wounded.
This entry was posted in Birds of Prey, Coping with the Death of a Child, Death, Family and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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