My Fair Pigeon

I mentioned this on Facebook the other day, and ever since, people have been asking me to share the saga of The Bird. So here it is. I’ll pause while you go make some popcorn.

Welcome back. Our tale begins on a dark, hot night. Will and I were taking out the trash, and when we walked down our alley – yes, we live in an alley, but that’s a whole other post – we spotted this little dark blob on the ground. It was a black pigeon standing perfectly still, and the weird thing was that he didn’t move, fly away, or even flinch when we came near him (I’m assuming it’s a him, because men are the better ignorers OH BURN).

At this point we thought maybe someone had planted a bird sculpture to mess with us, because we have enemies who would do this sort of thing. We had to investigate further. We ran back to the apartment, grabbed a flashlight, shined it in the birds face, and held back the urge to go all Jack Bauer and shout “TELL ME WHERE THE BOMB IS!”

Well, the bird wouldn’t have told us anyway, because as it turns out it had a big bald spot on the top of its head, at the center of which was…okay, stop eating for a second…a hole. Not a big hole, but a hole. As if someone had hammered a nail into its head and then got bored halfway through.

So now we’re guessing the little dude is brain dead and just whacked out of its gourd, and all it can do is stand there and wait for the cold, inescapable specter of death. (For more information on the cold, inescapable specters of death, read Croak, coming this Spring!) It didn’t seem like there was much else we could do for the poor thing, so we uttered a curt “Good luck, pal,” and returned to our house and reveled in the fact that we didn’t have holes in our heads.

The next morning, I ran outside to check on what I thought would be an empty patch of gravel where the bird had stood, or perhaps some sort of Pink-Panther-esque calling card left by the neighborhood cat that had devoured him. BUT…there he was, still standing there. In a different spot, a few feet away. And with a puddle of blood next to him.

Well, this was too creepy. I was beginning to think this thing had either been sent by an evil overlord as some sort of terrible omen, or been set up by some asswipe hidden-camera show producer. But the more I thought about the situation, the more I came to respect the little guy. He survived the night! In a dark and creepy alley, with feral cats afoot! And with a hole in his head and, now that I noticed it, a bleeding leg!

Fun Fact: Pigeon blood comes in an extremely bright shade of red. Take note, Crayola.

So I decided to help him. Why the hell not? He deserved a shot, plus I didn’t really have anything to do that morning. I was up for an adventure. I called the various numbers I could find around the interwebs (did you know there’s a NYC Pigeon Rescue?), but as it turned out, none of them would actually come pick up an injured pigeon. They’d accept it if you brought it in to them, but they wouldn’t make a special trip to save the precious flying rat.

Luckily, we are moving soon, so we happen to have a lot of boxes lying around. So I grabbed the nearest Amazon smiley-face box, just for that extra little hint of irony, and poked a bunch of holes in it. I then got a towel that I didn’t have any especial emotional attachment to and put on some heavy winter gloves, just in case the little disease bag decided to try and peck my fingers off.

In the end, though, I didn’t need to touch him. I put the box on its side and used the towel to just kind of sweep him in. (I also put the towel in the box so he might have something soft to snuggle in, but he seemed to be scared of it, backing up into the corner to get away from it, so I took it out. Honestly, who is scared of a towel?) I slapped a piece of tape on the top, and we were ready to go.

Now, some people might think it’s gross to transport a pigeon by subway, but to those people I say there are much, MUCH worse things lurking on the NYC trains.

Man, I hate those guys.

So me and little Creepy, as I’d come to call him, were no big deal. He barely moved or made any noise, and I just pretended I had a box full of books…that needed air holes to breathe.

Long story short – too late – I got to the Animal Control Center and handed him off. The girl said they would do what they could for him, and honestly, that’s all I had hoped for. I didn’t expect the little guy to survive much longer, but at least he’d be in the hands of professionals instead of torn apart by hungry cats. And I got to officially name him Creepy – I have the intake form to prove it!

So godspeed, Creepy. May you live another day to scare the bejesus out of someone else.

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