Feathered Friend

by Steve

Man walking towards pigeonsA short tale for you, dear reader, to ease you into the weekend. It is all true.

So, the other day I’m out walking. Ahead of me, I see an old woman carrying a strange package, at arm’s length. It hangs down from her hand, grey, with patches of red near the bottom.

I think to myself, “My! That package is shaped a little like a pigeon! And look at that red! It is almost as if it could be blood! Hah! Imagine that! An old woman carrying a dead pigeon the full length of the street! Wouldn’t that be horrible!”

I should add here that I don’t always think with so many exclamation marks.

As I draw closer all becomes clear. Yes, it is a pigeon. Yes, that is blood. Yes, it is dead. And yes, the old woman has been carrying it the full length of the street.

I wonder if it has been run over, and if the woman is doing her civic duty in clearing the road of…er…roadkill. Or was it a beloved, departed family pet that she can’t bear to let go? Or was it a bizarre new fashion accessory? Or was I witnessing a rather bleak new take on the Dead Parrot sketch?

So many questions. So many theories.

Before I could wonder any further, the old woman dropped the dead pigeon into a large recycling bin. I didn’t realise pigeons were recyclable, but there you go. You learn something new every day.

Image from the US National Archives, via Flickr