Thursday, August 8, 2019


So there I was. Trapped in my own back garden. By a pigeon.

This stand-off was inevitable, I think. Two pigeons have recently roosted in our plum tree and the past week has been a cacophony of thrashing/fighting/feather-flying drama in the branches. Apparently now, though, there has been a winner. And the loser has come to skulk around our garden, seemingly incapable of flying (did the winner nip his wing?), where he now hops/runs/flaps around at ground level, larger than life in our tiny square of astroturf, our two raised beds.

I, however, did not realise we had taken on this garden tenant when I went out this morning to re-pot some succulents, or I might have -- perhaps -- shut the kitchen door behind me. But no. No, I was innocent, naive -- arrogant, even -- when I came out to our little outdoor table, holding my potted plant, ready for some wholesome morning activity. But then (how quickly everything changes) the bush next to me violently juddered and out shot this pigeon, clearly startled (weren't we both) by my sudden appearance so close to him. He immediately flapped - dare I say sprinted? - in the opposite direction of me, a clear and present threat - he obviously knows I ate squab in St Emilion - which unfortunately meant heading straight down our steps and INTO OUR FLAT. I swear he knew exactly where he was going. He went in with PURPOSE, like he LIVED there, had ALWAYS lived there, WOULD always live there.

In the meantime, me, in the garden, turning the air blue.

He ran through the mud room all the way to the kitchen doorway then stopped, presumably checking out the room, measuring it to see if it'd suit his needs.

I didn't move, lest I encourage him further in.

He sat. Right there on the step, pretty as you please.

He listened to the Throwback Thursday playlist -- still playing in the house, harkening back to a more innocent time, aka, an hour ago -- enjoying Hanson, Christina, Mariah, as he settled down, lower, fatter, making himself comfortable. One flap away from so many, many breakable things.

Me, trapped in the garden. No way of entering my own house, now protected, as it was, by this feathery grey security guard.

As I mentally ran through my options - namely, that I had none, and may as well hand over the keys - I heard the clatter of dishes through the open window of the neighbours' flat upstairs. THAT'S IT. MY NEIGHBOURS. (Different neighbours to the Australian ones I called for help so many moons ago, when we caught a baby mouse scrabbling in a sink and neither Al nor I could bring ourselves to touch it, and thought, 'Aussies can handle animals' - and sure enough, Sam had him cupped in his palm and outside in no time, justifying our 911.) (But now we have another animal problem, and a whole new neighbour.)

I shouted - not their names, because I'd forgotten them - but the names of the neighbours next door, hoping they were close enough. And sure enough, two heads popped out above me.


Them: ON IT.

I gave them the keycode to the lock-box on our front door, and within minutes, the guy had let himself in and headed for the kitchen, there to shoo the bird out.

The bird was not interested. NOW he's brave, hey. Got a whole doorway, better than a bush, and all the Backstreet a young paloma could ask for.

It wasn't until the neighbour got within a foot that he was like, 'Alright, alright, I'm going,' and cool as a cucumber, he just sauntered back out -- shatting in our mud room on his way, flipping us the proverbial bird, quite literally -- and hopped back into his bush.


I guess I should name him now.