After killing three fish, I have struck again. The circumstances of the death warrant an argument that the Pigeon in question was suicidal. I could also say that I was doing the world a favor by eradicating a germ-harboring pest during a global pandemic. I further point to the fact that by killing the dumbest in the flock, I enhanced the gene pool. But, first, I must give you the backstory.
The deceased was not the Pigeon happily hooting outside my kitchen window each morning, nor the feathered friends pecking from the hands of homeless men in Washington Square Park. No, this one had a death wish or seeds for brains. Further evidence of pigeons’ cognition and mental health state will come later.
Post-incident, I did some research to pay respect to the life of the demised. I mean, If you’re going to kill, know what you killed. Note: this statement is not an omission of guilt, but an ethical postmortem for those with an unfortunate history of accidentally killing innocent creatures. See, I am no villain.
It turns out, Charles Darwin and Nicola Tesla collected, trained, and loved pigeons. In both world wars, pigeons delivered covert operations and time-sensitive news that saved thousands of lives. The UPS of the skies are monogamous, mate for life, and co-parent. This nugget of wedded wisdom makes me slightly uncomfortable examining the sole witness, who only just escaped with wings intact.
Let’s explore the evidence, shall we?
At 1400 hours, a pigeon flew from underneath a parked car as I rode my bicycle down 11th Ave. I dodged the bird and audibly congratulated myself on quick reflexes. It was then, as I watch it zoom towards the Hudson river that…..thud….thud.
Both wheels of my bicycle ran over its life partner. Call it savagery or suicide, but because of my tires, a bird joined the ranks of animals I have killed this fortnight. It wasn’t an instant death. Feathers dislodged like petals of a boquet fought for by drunk Millenials. The bird tumbled across the avenue and would have made it across the other side, maybe with a few organs intact, if a black sedan hadn’t blocked its way. The whole debacle took 4 seconds, but by the end of it, a bird was stamped into the road, and I was questioning bicycle as a viable form of locomotion.
Just to clarify, this death was not intentional. I will provide further backstory as evidence for my state of mind at the time of the incident. I had just ran around the southern lake in Central Park, a 2.5 km loop past turtles baking in the sun, dog owners tangled together by unruly pooches, a dad on rollerblades looking like a baby giraffe taking his first steps, police on horseback encouraging social distancing, fishermen trying their luck in the pond, and kids skimming stones.
After the run, I hopped on my bike to head home via the grocery store. With mask and hand sanitizer strapped to my running belt, I sped down 11th Ave running red lights and hoping that the line for ‘essentials’ isn’t around the block. To avoid crowds, I biked 51 blocks past two Wholefoods, one Trader Joes, and a handful of overpriced organic markets to Chelsea where people are sensible and don’t go to the store for just one bunch of kale and a half-gallon of oat milk. A 51 block bike ride to avoid a 100 person line is well worth it. Unless you kill a pigeon.