Saving a Pigeon

by Cindy Robinson
Neither of these pigeons are the one in the story. These are photos I took previously which are entitled "Stumpy & his girlfriend"

Neither of these pigeons are the one in the story. These are photos I took before which are entitled “Stumpy & his girlfriend”

Neither of these pigeons are the one in the story. These are photos I took previously which are entitled "Stumpy & his girlfriend"

Neither of these pigeons are the one in the story. These are photos I took before which are entitled “Stumpy & his girlfriend”

I think I inadvertently saved a pigeon’s life over the weekend, or at least saved it from being maimed and minimized its trauma. Let me rewind a little bit first though.

My daughter and I had plans over the weekend which kept morphing and changing into different plans. Our first set of plans for Saturday didn’t work out the way we’d hoped but later in the day we did indeed have some good fun. Kudos to singers Troye Sivan and Nick Jonas for being awesome young men! We love you guys.

As our plans evolved we found ourselves in a different part of Los Angeles that we don’t normally frequent and in an area I normally consider a pretty nice area. We were hungry and opted for a quick stop to escape the traffic and avoid the long search for a new place to eat. We saw a Costco so decided “Yes, quick & easy.”

It was the craziest damn Costco we’ve ever been to! I won’t name the location because I probably know people who frequent this as their regular Costco. It was like all those bizarre people you see in the bad Wal-Mart photos and videos had escaped to Costco over the weekend!

It was a fest for people watching! There was what I assume, a homeless couple enjoying a pizza with their shopping cart of haphazardly packed belongings next to them. They seemed normal enough, until the man got up to go get something and proceeded to make this bizarre series of noises as he walked between the tables and again as he returned to his seat. But then he just engaged in normal conversation with his lady companion and the table next to him while he was seated.

At the  table next to us was a big guy with a hearty laugh, ear buds in, enjoying some show on his phone, who enjoyed burping – repeatedly, loudly, and without excusing himself, like he was at home on the sofa in his underwear watching TV.

A couple of tables away my daughter is certain she spied a popular Youtuber who had his hair up in a ridiculous man-bun with a woman’s little claw hair clip. I so wish I had scissors handy but my daughter thought it looked good!

At the table in front of us was an older man with grey hair and a boy or young man who appeared to be an older teenager with perhaps some sort of mental disability. At first the boy was sitting at the table with the man eating their pizza. Then the boy sat on the ground and began feeding his pizza crust to the pigeons which of course made them flock to him. At one point, the man got up and left the table to go get something. Then suddenly the boy had a pigeon in his hands! He’d caught one and it looked like we he was grabbing the wing with force like he had intent to do damage. I just automatically yelled out “What the hell are you doing?” And he released the bird while several large and small feathers remained in the boy’s hand. Everything seemed to go silent for a few seconds and then the normal chatter of people eating lunch returned. The man came back to the table and the boy showed him the feathers he’d gotten. I was just sitting there a bit stunned. The man didn’t acknowledge that he’d seen anything go awry but they left a few minutes later. Then it dawned on me that I’d actually said that out loud and I asked my daughter if I had been loud. She said I was and that people stopped to look for a moment but it got him to release the bird.

Some readers may think “it was just a bird” or “pigeons are totally annoying at Costco” or “well, the kid has a disability”. Just because it was one of millions of pigeons doesn’t mean it’s OK to harass and torture it. Just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean they get to skip knowing right from wrong if they are able to process that information. If pigeons are a pest at Costco it’s only because you, the patrons of Costco have taught them to be that way by feeding them and teaching them to seek food from humans instead of finding it as they should. I’m super guilty of this because I like birds, I like it when they are curious and come near me and I sure as hell wasn’t going to sit there and let some kid torture a bird or anything else for that matter.

As for the kid, he did seem to have some disability but did seem functional enough to know right from wrong if he had been taught that. I guess that was the scary part for me. The older man – father, caregiver or whatever he was didn’t even address the kid sitting on the ground trying to catch the pigeon, didn’t clarify to him anything about right or wrong so if the boy can’t grasp that it’s wrong to harm a small bird maybe some other time he won’t understand it’s not right to harm something or someone else.

We sat there kind of shocked for a few minutes and then we figured the poor bird probably flew off to a tree to shit himself crazy with fear after his little ordeal. I couldn’t help but wonder if other people would say something in a situation like this? I wish I’d said something to the man but they left before I came out of my shocked state. But that is me, if I see something strange happening, I will likely say something about it, whether it embarrasses the people I’m with or not.

I didn’t even intend to write about it, and it doesn’t really fit with most of the things we write about at Life On The Scene, but after a few days it’s still sitting in my thoughts going “damn, that was kind of crazy!” so here it is. I just hope the pigeon is OK.

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