It is declared.
It is on.
My neighborhood hosts a sizable flock of pigeons, or rock doves as my father calls them when he’s trying to get you to eat one. We live half a mile from downtown and this is a splinter flock fleeing the urban jungle for the improved quality of air and feed in backyardia.
The flock numbers between 30 and 50 and roosts on the roofs of 3 different houses on Highland and Holland Streets. They’ve been here for years but this is the first year I’ve kept a feeder out back and the invasion of number 54 has begun.
When I first hung the feeder a golden age of harmonious wildlife activity dawned in backyardia. More than a dozen species of birds converged beneath the big blue spruce to enjoy the seed feast. Squirrels took on the roll of heroic liberators, daringly hanging inverted to scoop great pawfuls of seed out onto the ground in order to get to the choice sunflower seeds. Cardinal and jay, dove and sparrow, finch and wren all mingled below as seed rained down from heaven.
Then the pigeon hooligans crashed the party. They descended like a gang of hungry, belligerent sumo wrestlers at a children’s birthday party, shoving little ones aside and gobbling up all the cake. Actually, in my vision of this bizarre metaphor the children are eating rice off the floor (and loving it!) when a pack of WWF wrestlers bust through the doors and windows, scattering children as they fall to their hands and knees to gorge. Hacksaw Jim Dougan never loses his grip on the 2×4.
Now I’m haunted by that once peaceful cooing. ooka-ooh, ooka-ooh. Like a muted version of the sound of a car horn when Robert Byrd was inducted into the senate. Now it’s the sound of mockery and defeat.
And so it begins. I have a borrowed air rifle with an inaccurate telescopic scope and no pellet ammunition but plenty of ill will. I have a supply of rat poison leftover from the recent rodent wars but no decent strategy to destroy my enemies without poisoning my allies. I have time.
To be continued…