Saturday, July 2, 2016

Gertrude the Slut.



I'm not very fond of animals (Come to think of it, I"m not very fond of humans either). Animals are stupid, they have no empathy, and they leave their crap all over the place, kind of like humans, actually.

Cats and dogs, though, do have their charms (as do humans): dogs are so eager to please, so friendly and so stupid that you can't help laughing at them, and cats are so pretty you can't help admiring their grace and beauty. Keep in mind, though, that if you get a pet it's your job to clean up the poop--unless the stupid dog turns around and eats it without even waiting for it to get crunchy.

Someone once gave me a fish as a birthday present, a Siamese fighting fish I named "Sushi," and I felt obligated to keep it alive. I'm proud to say that Sushi lived a long and well-fed life on top of my old television, though its life seemed incredibly boring to me.

A few years ago a female pigeon I named "Gertrude" homed atop the air conditioner on my balcony, and before long she picked up a boyfriend I named "Spotty"--after his unusual pigeon markings. Spotty was apparently a sex machine, judging by the noise of cooing, flapping wings and frantic scratching going on atop the AC outside my sliding door. Spotty once jumped Gertrude right on top of my balcony railing in broad daylight.

"Jesus Christ, Spotty, have a little decency," I said.

But, the relationship seemed to be going well. To my amazement, I actually witnessed Spotty helping Gertrude build her nest, flying home with twigs in his beak repeatedly. The result that summer was two chicks who stupidly fell out of the nest prematurely and huddled in a corner. Their sweet peeping soon turned into loud chirping and squawking whenever Mama flew in with food. The racket they made was totally out of proportion to their small size, pushing and shoving each other as Gertrude fed them with her regurgitations.

Finally, at meal times, when I saw their wings flapping like perfect adults, with just a trace of chick fuzz on the top of their heads, I went out to the balcony with my broom, tired of their squawking dependency.

"Time to go kids," I advised, sweeping them gently off the second floor. They landed on the ground unphased as I watched, hoping for the best, until I saw them making random flights to nowhere. Later, I saw them on rooftops. "Thank God," I thought, "Maybe now they'll shut up."

Pigeons mate for life, unlike humans, but somewhere along the way Spotty disappeared. Either, he was a heartless rogue, fugitive from the nest, or he met a tragic end in his travels. Gertrude apparently entertained a parade of horny visitors whose markings I couldn't identify, maybe the same guy, maybe not. Then, last week, I discovered a pigeon egg, alone and abandoned on the deck.

"Gertrude you slut," I exclaimed. She had abandoned her egg, like a mother and her latest boyfriend getting high and drunk while a toddler bleats in a bedroom.

I have a beautiful abandoned robin's nest from another time and place on my shelves, a masterpiece of engineering made entirely of dry grass. I keep two Easter candy eggs in it to simulate blue robin eggs. Pigeon nests are different, all twiggy and ugly, containing everything from balloon strings (including the the deflated balloons) to twist ties and dental floss. So I put the pigeon egg in the robin's nest and improvised an incubator near a baseboard heater without much hope.

All I got were two blobs of candied chocolate and an inert pigeon egg.

So I ate the egg (I hate wasting food).



I would describe the taste as only vaguely un-chicken, like the difference between a beefburger and a buffalo burger--negligible, if you got used to it.

Now, suddenly, I see that Gertrude is building a new nest, hopping from the ground to the balcony with an endless supply of twigs. I'm hopeful. Maybe the new guy is as true-blue as Spotty and they'll start a family. I'm hopeful because, even though the chicks would be a pain in the ass, I love watching life go on, even among humans.

If not, at least I'll get breakfast.

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