i was adopted by a pigeon today.  i guess these kinds of things happen to me.
it must have been thirsty.  it heard the sound of the hose as i re-filled the ducks' kiddie pool with clean water.  it flew over once, just a flash of white.  never seen a white bird here, except for seagulls, i thought, but it didn't really have the silhouette of a seagullcurious.  
and then it landed.  it was like an angel, the brightest of whites, stark against the tufts of grass and gravelly dirt of my backyard.  it hovered around the kiddie pool as the ducks splashed exuberantly.  they were obviously trying to scare it away.  but that pigeon was thirsty.  so it patiently pecked at the ground, waiting for a moment while the ducks were away.  i noticed a tag around its ankle...domestic.  it hopped on the edge, drank a few gulps, and was so eager to bathe that it stumbled into the water.  wings outstretched, it was in way too deep, and fumbled to get out. the bird hopped to the edge again, eyed me, drank a few more gulps, and then the ducks ran it off.  the ducks are very territorial, as it turns out.
the pigeon flew to roost in the lumber racks, and i could see the blackness of blood under its wing.  injured.  it took a long nap there, opening an eye to scope the surroundings every now and again.  i took a break from weeding morning glory, hurriedly grabbed seed and scattered it about the yard, knowing well that pigeons and doves love millet.   it watched me all the while, eventually flying back down to eat.  i policed the cats, with one near miss from chachie the huntress.  exasperated by the cats' tenacious stalking,  i eventually resorted to locking the felines inside.  you can live here, i said aloud, probably sounding a bit crazy in that dr. dolittle way. but i meant it.  i cooed in the way i know how, the way that doves and pigeons do, whoo-whoo-whoo, while the angelic white bird eyed me
its well known round these parts that this is the spot for birds to hang out, brandin said, smoking a cigarette leaning casually on the truck, amused by the sight of the pigeon.  they probably go and tell each other where the good spots are.  it's true, my backyard is like the old country buffet for birds, with millet, sunflower seeds, thistle, nectar and a birdbath..  the pigeon pecked around casually, and when chased off again by those persnickety ducks, seemed unscathed.  that white pigeon found a comfortable spot on the edge of the roof line to sit, and still hasn't left.


  1. I grew up in south Denver, in the Wash Park hood. It was known to all the kids that if you came across an injured bird you had to take it to the "Bird Lady". I heard about her for years, assuming she was an urban legend. Then one day it happened. I found an injured bird. My friends told me to just leave it, but I couldn't. "What about the Bird Lady?" Sigh, "she's not real. Come on already." I went back to the house and got a cardboard box, came back for the bird and started scouring the neighborhood. I don't remember how we found her, but we did. It was like one of those old movies, going up to knock on the door of the scary old bird women. She opened the door with a fucking raven on her shoulder. My friend ran. I went inside. "Nevermore" said the Raven. His way of saying hello, I was assured. (Of course I knew exactly what he was saying, since I was 11 and like every dark little child obsessed with EAP). Her house and backyard was a menagerie of every kind of bird you can imagine, from things that one expects to see in the house (like parrots, love birds) to things one doesn't. Outside was really wild: I especially remember the ducks. Well, every neighborhood needs a Bird Lady, glad the tradition survives. Just remember they have a way of taking over. . . (DM)

  2. for me birds represent the spirits of lost loved ones. I hope I come back as a crow.

  3. what a great story! i love the idea of being edison's crazy Bird Lady!

    ...and if all these birds are in fact little spirits (which i don't doubt) then i hope to give them a chill spot to hang out.