The Pigeon who believed he was a chicken!

It was with a degree of resignation, and perhaps a little sadness, that I swept up the feathers in the conservatory yesterday. Our resident blackbird had finally met his match, in the shape of one of our cats. He was not the brightest of birds. I rescued him from potential death on a few occasions. Perhaps this was just another example of survival of the fittest. Evolution had decided it was probably best that he should not pass on his ‘liable to be massacred by a cat’ gene. The unhappy demise of the blackbird, reminded me of happier times.

Having been brought up by a vet, we were always being inundated with birds in various states of illness or brokenness. Once we were asked to look after a baby pigeon, who had fallen out of his nest. He was promptly named Orville, and a rota was set up to feed him. We hand reared him, using tweezers as a beak and mashed up berries. As he he grew, we would put him on the branch of the tree in the garden. I’ve never seen a bird look so nervous. I was pretty much convinced that he was scared of heights!
Unfortunately, Orville decided to leave home one morning. He was a pretty thick bird and decided to make his maiden voyage on to the roof of next door’s shed. Not a problem, except that they had four cats, who were moving in for the kill. My mum paced the kitchen in anxiety. She could take no more and rushed out of the house to knock at the neighbours, to see if she could have her pigeon back. We, in the meantime, hid in embarrassment. My mum duly returned with Orville, who had walked off the shed roof into her hand.
‘We can’t release him round here. If I find feathers well……’ lamented my mum. We had now cottoned on that my mum was slightly over-involved with her patient. In the end she took him to a local farm. The last she saw of him, he was following the chickens around. She followed up with a phone call a couple of weeks later, only to learn that Orville was happily acting as a chicken and had no intention of moving on.

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~ by envisioningutopia on March 8, 2012.

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