Pigeons In The Park

The spouse and I whiled away a couple of pleasant hours in the sun filled Jephson Gardens in Leamington Spa yesterday, as we waited to catch our train back home to Glasgow.

The spouse was happily caught up in the Guardian TV Guide, while I listened to the cooing and clucking pigeons clustered near the fountains and realised I had forgotten they made that noise. As I admired their slender pink legs, something else seemed a bit strange, and then it struck me that I had never seen so many pigeons with intact feet before. Most of the Glasgow ones make do with a couple of toes on one foot and a stump on the other. Not only that, the Leamington Spa pigeons had all their feathers. Amazing. I noted how much healthier they are in Leamington Spa than Glasgow, and wondered if pigeon mortality rates tallied with human mortality rates by city in the national league tables. Just as I was about to share this important observation with the spouse, a man on a mobility scooter trundled slowly past. All of a sudden, there was a massive flurry of wings as the entire flock of pigeons took to the air and besieged the unfortunate man as he made his way to the duck pond.

“Oh my god, they’re attacking him!” I said in horror, wondering if this was the dark side of Leamington Spa pigeons. A small child fled in terror from the scene but, strangely, the man seemed totally unperturbed. As we watched in amazement, he stopped his scooter and became transformed into a latter day St Francis of Assissi. He fed his feathered friends lovingly by hand and they rewarded him by covering him in droppings for good luck and plucking loose threads from his jumper. They took it in turns to perch on his head and shoulders and tickled his ears with their wings. Once his bag of seed had been emptied, he trundled happily away.

“Good thing he was wearing his cap”, said the spouse pragmatically.

2 Responses to “Pigeons In The Park”

  1. 1 cyborginafield September 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    oh what a nice guy! Im off to seek out some pigeons to see if I can hear em 🙂

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