A Pigeon Story

Pidgeon on a fence, originally uploaded by t3mouse74.

You might never expect a heartening tale involving an ordinary pigeon and a bureaucratic city government. But here is one.

I returned home from work one evening to discover that a pigeon had somehow gotten its foot caught in my garden fence. I watched it for a few minutes, wondering what on earth I could do.

I slowly approached the bird, who watched me with that cocked one eye that told me I was not trusted. When I reached to try to lift her leg out of the fence, she panicked and tried to fly, resulting in her poor leg getting twisted and worse off than before.

Now what? I was desperate. I went to the phone directory, and found an animal control number. It was after 7pm, in a city that couldn’t manage to do much of anything (this was in the grim days of a mayor who snorted cocaine). I had zero hope, but desperation will make you grasp at straws.

Someone answered! I described my plight, and the person asked me my name and address. “We’ll send someone out as soon as possible.”

Yeah, I thought. A likely story, given that no one plowed our street for three weeks after a huge snow storm.

Within 30 minutes there were two uniformed, polite, and capable men with a clean bird cage, standing at the door. I nearly hugged them both. I really couldn’t believe that the city would actually respond to a plea to help a common pigeon.

But help they did. The two men knew what to do to calm the bird. They talked to it gently as they managed to free its mangled leg and put it in the cage. The pigeon was calm and relieved.

I asked what they would do now. They would take it to a vet who would examine it and hopefully its leg could heal. Then they would release it back to the wild.

I wonder what those two city workers thought. I was so grateful–and relieved–and kept thanking them profusely.

Never have my tax dollars been spent so well. And I shall always be grateful to two anonymous government people who showed respect and compassion for a pigeon.


2 thoughts on “A Pigeon Story

  1. Not until recently did I give much thought to animals and those who care for them. Stories such as this and time spent reading at an animal rehab site have illustrated to me how powerful the gift of compassion can be. The benefit to little ones such as this bird are easy to observe… yet I think the greater gift comes to all. Like the Grinch, our hearts grow a couple of sizes bigger.

  2. Beautifully put, Greg. The gift of compassion seems to grow in all directions, so that the difference between the giver and receiver seems to vanish. Thanks for reading so thoughtfully!


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