We went to a salsa night at the Texas Embassy, Andy and I. It was pretty hot in there, but at the back they had one of those fire escapes that's like a little courtyard made out of stairs, so we went out for some air. There was a young pigeon squatting out there - not a baby, but a long way from being an adult. As we walked past, it tried to hide behind a drainpipe, but it really didn't fit, so it just sort of shoved its head back there and hoped for the best.

When we came back a few minutes later the pigeon was still sitting around looking troubled, so we figured it probably needed a hand to get out of there. I realised we were maybe three storeys from the top of the building - a long way for a confused pigeon to travel. It tried hiding behind the pipe again when we approached, so I took my bowler hat off and we scooped the bird up, onto Andy's arm. Once it was covered with the hat, it seemed to relax a bit. Hidden at last!

We walked up the fire escape steps in concert, pigeon perched and hat held carefully in place. As we reached the top floor, we realised that the building was covered by a net. Probably to stop pigeons from coming in and getting trapped in the fire escape. I spotted a hole, at the top of a section of steeply sloping roof - almost too high for me to reach, but not quite.

So we coaxed the bird back into the hat. It didn't seem to mind. It probably figured we would have eaten it by then, if we'd wanted to. While Andy held me steady, I stretched up with the hat, held it to the torn part of the net, and pulled at the hole to make sure it had space to get out.

It must have taken it a few seconds before it realised that escape was an option, but finally the bird hopped out through the net, into the open air, to freedom.

I gave Andy a leg-up, to check on it, before we left. It was just sort of sitting there, like it hadn't quite got its bearings. Maybe it didn't trust itself to start flying again just yet. I guess these things can take some getting used to.

I hope it'll be okay.


...I think it'll be okay.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.