A Pigeon Parable of Perspective (Part 1)

Dodah jumped, startled, and looked up from her schoolbook. Something had slammed against her bedroom window and now was lying in a disheveled heap on the sill outside. Thankful for a chance to get a break from algebra, she cautiously went to investigate.

A Pigeon Parable of Perspective

"Mom! A bird smashed into my window!" she yelled shortly thereafter. "I think it's dead!"
"Take a stick and push it off the ledge!" her mother called from the next room.
Armed with her school ruler, Dodah opened her window, looking down at the street a couple stories below her apartment with a shudder. She didn't like this city, the traffic and the hoards of people, the new smells and sounds. However, since her father had died, her mother had struggled to find a job to support the family, so they had moved here.
Dodah lightly prodded the dusky-feathered bird with her ruler. It unexpectedly twitched. She froze, then very gently prodded it again. The bird's eyes fluttered as it sorely wriggled. Dodah's heart squeezed inside her chest. Her cold emotions thawed a little. She noted that the bird was a pigeon, a large one, and that part of its head was wounded from the impact with her window. For the first time since her father died, she felt true compassion for something.
When the bird saw her, it panicked. Its wings fluttered and it started flopping around. Dodah was afraid that it would fall off her windowsill. She quickly spoke to it in a soothing voice.
"No, no, little guy! It's okay! You don't have to worry. Just take your time and rest a little."
When the bird heard her, it settled down and cocked its head, looking at her with glinting eyes. Very carefully, Dodah reached out and stroked its feathers. They were warm, soft, and slightly wet from the misty sprinkles of rain outside.
The tender moment passed. The bird suddenly fluttered and hopped to its feet before flying away. The girl sighed while shutting the window, feeling abandoned.

. . . . .

That weekend, the pigeon showed up again, this time with a very skinny companion. Dodah could hardly believe her eyes when she saw the two birds standing on her windowsill, staring at her.
"Is that your bird friend?" her four-year-old brother, D'Anjou asked.
"I think so, little pear," Dodah replied.
The pigeons watched as Dodah and D'Anjou slowly approached the window. As soon as the humans got too close, the birds took off and flew away. They didn't stay gone though. Soon they cautiously returned and landed on the window sill.
"Run and get some crackers from the kitchen," Dodah whispered.
D'Anjou scurried off, squealing, "Mom! Mom! The bird friend came back!"
Dodah, her mother, and her brother all fed the birds, and after that, pigeons were regular guests at Dodah's window. They both cheered her up and worried her. It seemed like almost every bird that came had something wrong with it. Dodah had to ask her mom, who was a nurse, for advice with some of the more scraggly cases. Late one night, while working on a splint for a teeny tiny broken leg, she got so frustrated she burst into tears.
"God! Why are you doing this to me?! I don't understand!"
She didn't get an answer from Heaven. But somehow the outburst helped her feel able to finish her work on the bird's leg.

. . . . .

Months later, early in the morning, Dodah was awakened by the weather alert unit beside her bed.
Flash Flood Warning. Move to higher ground immediately.
Dodah lived in a coastal city, so she had heard of the rare times this had happened in the past, but she had never seen it for herself. Adrenaline pumped through her as she sat up and quickly looked towards her window. It looked as if a typhoon was raging out there. Dark clouds murkied the atmosphere and rain poured in torrents. Dodah hopped out of bed and plodded to her mother's room. The electricity was out, so she had to feel around in the semi-dark to find her way around.
"Mom? Mom?" she whispered as she went.
"Dodah?" D'Anjou's squeaky voice replied. He was curled up in their mother's bed, cuddled with a pillow.
"Where's Mom?" Dodah demanded.
"At work."
Dodah's eyes widened as the weight of responsibility pressed on her. She bounded to the bedroom window. It was still hard to see, but if she strained her eyes, she thought she could discern a black floor of water rising up in the street.
"We have to go upstairs, little pear," she quickly told D'Anjou.
"It's... an adventure! Come on!"
She grabbed his hand and a flashlight, then they hurried out the door.
(Click here to read Part 2 of this parable)

1 comment:

  1. I'm on the edge of my chair, over here!!! I love how you write, Sis.