One day I went out into my garden and my neighbour said here we are! and put something into my hands. And it was a week-old pigeon that magpies had just pulled out of its nest.
Just what I wanted...
Woodstock, for so we called him, was a lead-coloured wrinkled thing with sandy eyebrows and a penetrating weep! He wouldn't open his beak to be fed unless you put your hand right over his head as if you were going to throttle him.
He grew up on creamed sweetcorn and soaked birdseed. We didn't know how to teach him to fly, so we used to take him for walks until one day he took off up into a tree where he sat for twenty four hours while we waved his food bowl at him and worried in case he was afraid of heights.
After that day, if you went out into the garden he would fly down at once to land on your head, and if he saw you inside the house he would try to do the same thing even though there was a pane of glass in the way.
Never quite worked glass out, did Woodstock. We spent several weeks crawling round the house in case he saw us and launched himself into the window yet again.
Gradually he got shyer and shyer, and in the end we saw him no more.
Still feel a bit sad about that.
Spot the frippet: pigeon. They're mostly woodpigeons round here. With their smart white collars and important waddle they always look as if they should be carrying briefcases.
Pigeon. This word is from the Old French word pijon, from the Latin pīpīre, to chirp.
Which the young ones do!