Chicken - the baby pigeon
by Lousie Wilkie
Late night snuggles. Little Chicken just wanted to be hugged.
Chicken was actually a baby pigeon.
My father brought little Chicken home one day after he'd found him in the park. He'd been pushed out of the nest, and had been beaten up in the process. There were no parent birds around to help the little chicken, and my father couldn't leave little Chicken on his own, so he brought him home for some care.
Everyone who met Chicken instantly fell in love with him. How could such a baby bird be so cute! Mum warned me not to become attached, as often the parents push the baby out of the nest when they are ill. No I said, I'm not getting attached.
I wondered what I would do with little Chicken when he grew up. I couldn't give him to pigeon fanciers, as they're only interested in breeding superstars, not the ones that escaped. Could I return him to his park where he could be a free bird again, but people are often mean to pigeons, chasing and throwing things at them. I didn't want this to happen to my little Chicken.
This was a decision for later on, I thought. Little Chicken grew feathers quickly and progressed with his eating just as quickly. But my attempt to make him a wild bird was failing, as all he wanted was a hug and nestle himself in my hands, or sit on my shoulder pecking crumbs off my clothes. In the evenings he just wanted snuggles, sleeping soundly on my shoulder. This was going to be difficult.
Morning came and I stepped out for a few hours to water my fruit trees. When I returned home, the house was quiet. I tip-toed past Chicken so not to wake him, and prepared his lunch. With a nice lunch ready, I walked over to his box to lift him out for our picnic lunch, and there was my poor little Chicken, dearly departed.
I lifted him out, and cried. I'd become attached. I petted my sweet little Chicken, and told him that I loved him. He was now free, a wild bird. I wrapped his little body in his comfort blanket, and placed him under my olive tree - the perfect place for a peaceful dove.
I didn't know a little baby pigeon would have such a big impact on my life, but it was a blessing to look after him, give him love, and to help him cross the rainbow bridge. I love you Chicken.