‘The Pigeon Lady’ ~ by Harmony Barron


I think most people would agree that dogs make the most loyal and devoted pets out of all the wonderful critters out there, I certainly believe this to be true. But with that said, I would have to say a pigeon– if raised from a squab– would be right up there with our canine friends.

My little sister Saska, has been raising pigeons for years, and started with a pair she bought at a county fair when she was eight or nine years old. During a big move, she had her pigeons looked after by a friend, and during this time, tragedy struck her flock. A skunk or fox burrowed its way into the enclosure and killed the whole lot of them…except for one newly hatched squab, which had slid down between its nest box and the wire. When found, it was nearly dead itself–cold, dehydrated and hungry, and in need of some serious TLC. She did everything she could think of for this poor little thing– tried feeding it a variety of mashed up foods, with a variety of different implements, but to no success.

Knowing she was just about out of time, she let her animal intuition kick in, and begin chewing up a mouthful of her former pigeon’s favorite seed mix. Then, when it was mush in her mouth, she held the little limp, featherless creature up to her face, and started mimicking the sounds the parents make right before they regurgitate into their young’s mouth. For the first time, she saw a sparkle in the little squab’s eye. The baby wasted not a moment, and stuck its beak up into her mouth, as a babe would to its mother’s breast, and hungrily ate its fill, while softly peeping in contentment.

From that day forward, Saska was Peeper’s mother, no question about it. That bird cherished my sister like no animal I have ever known has cherished a human being. And the sight of her sitting there, with the little orphan’s head deep in her mouth, shoveling down its sustenance, became a common sight indeed. She became to all who knew her as ‘The Pigeon Lady’. Peepers would sit on her shoulder for hours on end, cooing in her ear while preening her hair. And if Saska ever put her down, she would panic and run back to her, flapping her wings in a frantic rush. But the rest of us couldn’t even touch her. No, she would wildly peck at us, and slap at us with a wing if we tried to approach her with a hand.

It was Saska’s birthday yesterday, and since she doesn’t currently have a dog, I had to branch out and draw her a pigeon card! Happy Birthday Saska!! ~ Hope you all enjoy ~

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5 Responses to “‘The Pigeon Lady’ ~ by Harmony Barron”

  1. Marlene Phillips-Daniels Reply August 10, 2011 at 18:42

    Harmony, I don’t have a current email for either you or Jason and wonder if you have seen Jeff Schultz’s newsletter? He has entered a photo he took of Jason during the 2008 Iditarod, on Finger Lake I think, mostly ice.
    Jeff Shultz Photography Newsletter
    Subject—-Rarefied Light
    First photography exhibition he’s entered in 20 years—-the photo Jason Barron, Cracks and Dogs. Quite the photo

  2. Mmmmm, and they taste like chicken,too.

  3. I love this srory. I had not heard it. Saska
    is a very special person. I miss her smiling little face. I am so sorry I missed her birthday. I haven’t been on the computer in ages. Love your drawing. As usual it is absolutely beautiful You are so talented. Love you my friend

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What a Difference a Day Makes | Elizabeth Kate Switaj - August 21, 2011

    […] ‘The Pigeon Lady’ ~ by Harmony Barron (mrjasonbarron.wordpress.com) […]

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