Over the last few weeks our garden has been home to a number of racing pigeons. The reason I am vague as to the exact number is that they all looked pretty much the same. The first was called Racy, he flew in and out throughout the day and would hoover up the grain that I “accidently” spilt when feeding the wild birds. He was a chirpy chap and I was confident he would refuel and head off again. I have some experience with these non-homers. At Cliffe we had several visitors, including Pedro, Peggy and the infamous Pooping Percy. These had the decency to look quite different from each other, no embarrassing mistaken identities.

Alas, one evening I saw a local cat cross the garden with someone looking suspiciously like Racy in her mouth. I guessed that his athletic career had come to a premature finale. We promised that in future we would discourage this cat from our haven.

A week or so later, I was most surprised, nay disturbed, to see Racy wander across the lawn looking for titbits. Racy had either risen from the grave, feigned death until he could escape or it was indeed another caller at the Heavenly Pitstop. I rejoiced, although OH swore blind he was a different bird. And then he disappeared, heading home to where he would get a hero’s welcome. I hoped.

That is until a few days ago when a very similar looking but much thinner pigeon appeared. I gave him food and water and kind words. When the torrential rains started I made him a little shelter from a dustbin lid and an upside down rose pot. Each morning I expected the worst as I rushed out to see if he was in his little corner, but every morning he would be there and peer at me as I asked “how do you feel today?”. I interpreted his beady gaze as “the look of love” but might well have been one of horror. Once or twice a day he would walk the few yards from his base to look into the French windows and then walk back again. We never saw him fly, just waddle.

This morning he seemed a little more adventurous and walked onto the lawn before heading into his corner. At lunch time he settled just outside the back door holding his wing in an odd manner. OH said “what if he is in pain?”. I found a basket to put him in, gathered him up in an old towel and took him to the vets. They took him into a back room and asked me to wait. After a couple of minutes a nurse came out asking “what exactly do you think is wrong with him?”. I explained he was holding his wing in a peculiar manner. She went back to the treatment room. After another few minutes the nurse returned to say they could find nothing wrong with him except he just didn’t want to fly, he was wandering around quite happily. I felt a little red-faced. “So, he was just trying it on, it wasn’t a pidgey plea for help”. “No, he is fine”. They kept him and promised to look after him and would contact the owner.

I miss him already. OH is terrified he will return. Or maybe it will be a different one, one that has heard on the racing pigeon hotline about the soft-touch in South Wales. On the way back in the car he asked in despair “why do they always come to us?”. Because they know we will do our best for them. He sighed.

Later I watched the bees stick their lovely little noses into the monarda flowers. Which helped. I’ll ring on Monday to see how he is getting on. Perhaps he is missing me too.

7 thoughts on “Racing

  1. If you’re feeling lonely, I could ask (deffo untagged) Woodstock if he would like to be brought over to the garden of water and birdseed (he shows no liking for milk nor honey) and save myself half a kilo of sunflower seeds every day. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Gill you are so kind to little creatures they know where to come. I hope your feathered friend is soon on the mend and winging his way again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You soft thing, but they are beautiful. You can have any of the many wood pigeons that come down to our bird bath for a drink if you are feeling too lonely. They do tend to come in twos and threes or fours, and need a strong fence to get on with you know what too!

    Liked by 1 person

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