Storytime is going to be a bit different today because it is about a very lonely pigeon.
Joh and I hung out beside a small lake today watching the wildlife when we first noticed a portly pigeon following a wren around the bank.
The wren paid no attention to the pigeon but the pigeon would only stop to eat when the wren stopped, and always hurried to catch up when the wren moved on.
Eventually the wren went into the lake. The pigeon waddled as fast as it could until it was right at the very edge of the lake and gazed sadly after the wren.
This was, however, not the end for the very lonely pigeon. Because a duck popped up on land.
The pigeon was overjoyed!
It hurried after the duck, pecking around for food and just generally enjoying the duck’s company.
Unfortunately, it was a female duck that soon had to flee, pursued by two males.
The pigeon once again perched at the very edge of the lake, staring longingly at the now distant duck.
Then came a jackdaw. We thought this might be a good match for the pigeon; after all, they can both fly and both walk.
But as it happens, pigeons are not as quick or as efficient at picking up food as jackdaws. The jackdaw moved with easy grace while the pigeon waddled as fast as it could to keep up.
The jackdaw picked its food discerningly and moved on, while the pigeon picked up anything it found and then frequently spat it out again when it turned out to be poo.
Before long, the jackdaw took to the air with a speed the pigeon did not try to match.
It looked around at us. I gave it an encouraging smile. ‘You’ll find someone,’ I said.
The pigeon tried a few more times. Each of the friends it tried to make led to it gazing defeatedly across the lake, watching the other birds swim around.
My heart was breaking for this poor lonely pigeon. Too slow to keep up with the jackdaws, too landbound to keep up with the waterfowl. It couldn’t even reliably tell food from poo.
A flurry of loud grey wings. Three other wood pigeons landed all around the lonely pigeon! All was well!
They pecked around together, all failing to tell poo from food, and then took off together as a quartet.
A happy ending for our no longer lonely pigeon!