I caught a snippet of a conversation this morning I was completely unable to understand. I’m sure being a completely different species had something to do with it. There were two pigeons strutting across the sidewalk near the front entrance of my building. As I passed they were cooing at each other.
I thought it was odd since I hadn’t heard pigeons cooing in a while, especially in noisy Downtown Chicago. I was overwhelmed with wonder at what they could possibly be saying to each other. At first I thought it was probably something pretty banal, like;
“Hey Jerry! Did you poop on that thing?”
“Hey Grover! I sure did poop on that thing”.
(Just for the record, Grover is a very common name for pigeons. Take my word for it). As the cooing intensified things seemed to get a little heated;
“Did you see that stale bread near the curb”, asked Jerry.
“I sure did see that stale bread near the curb”, said Grover.
“Why are you copying what I’m saying”, asked Jerry.
“I’m not copying what you’re saying”, said Grover.
“Stop it”, said Jerry.
“Stop what? We’re just cooing here”, said Grover.
Unfortunately my observation of the natural world and the state of pigeon courtesies had to come to an end so I could drag my poor body inside the building to work on my own metaphorical piece of stale bread.
At least there were only two pigeons, by Monroe and Wells streets there is a huge gang of pigeons that congregate under the “EL” tracks. They cluster together and hassle people for cigarettes and change. Those are bad pigeons. They won’t get out of your way for anything. I think if you looked around the corner there would be rows of little mini-motorcycles.
While they may be a bad group I don’t often hear them being as vocal as these two pigeons in front of my building this morning. I thought about it probably too much as I rode the elevator up toward the floor I work on. I wonder why an animal with the ability to fly would choose to roost in the dirty, noisy, smelly city rather than someplace with open fields and wide plains to poop on.
Although, I am a city guy. I might understand their unwillingness to relocate to quieter locals. I need the noise of the city. I need its rumbling and constant wailing like a baby needs his mother’s lullaby. When I’m in the country, I feel far too disconnected to the world. Plus those country noises bother me. Crickets are Hell’s violin.
I’ll just have to keep wondering about the conversations of city pigeons and dream of flight.