Saturday, December 31, 2005


So we were at Boudin's earlier today eating lunch. Of course, there were a whole bunch of pigeons hanging around, hoping for scraps. One of the pigeons, which I will call the freaky pigeon, was, well, a little freaky. Different coloration, which made him look strikingly different from the other pigeons, none of that boring gray you always see on pigeons, and his feathers were a little ruffled. I decided that I was going to give him some of the bread bowl in which was our soup. So I tossed a piece down at him, but another pigeon totally beat him to it. Well, I wasn't having any of THAT, and I grabbed another piece of the bread bowl and held it out for him. He started to walk to me, but another pigeon started shoehorning in. "Begone," I said to the non-freaky pigeon, "this is for the freaky pigeon, not you," but he didn't listen. I flicked my hand at him a bit, which made him ruffle his wings, but he didn't back off at all. So I smacked him.

Yes. I smacked a pigeon. Backhand, right across the side. Pow.

It was a surreal delight. The satisfyingly meaty contact of my hand with his side, a fluttery touch of wings, the inexplicable feeling of victory. Pigeons are notoriously hard to catch, and I had actually *smacked* one.

Somehow, the freaky pigeon knew that the piece of bread was for him, because when I smacked the one non-freaky pigeon, all the other non-freaky pigeons flew away, but the freaky pigeon stayed behind. I fed the freaky pigeon several more scraps off my bread bowl. The non-freaky pigeons all tried to shoehorn in several times, but I had them thoroughly cowed - all I had to do was point at them and they would back off.

As I walked away from Boudin's, to traipse along Fisherman's Wharf in touristy tourism and other things that begin with T, I felt a little warm glow in my heart, because I had smacked a pigeon, and I had fed the freaky pigeon.

May we all feed the freaky pigeons in the New Year!


Creativity Escapes Me said...

Quite a story. I'm glad the freaky pigeon got fed.

Michelle 2021 said...

I thought this story was brilliant. It's half "Tell at 2pm Sleepover Story" and half Coming of Age Nature vs. Man Narrative. Brilliant.