February 12th, 2008


There’s no L in Pigeon . . .

. . . but there was a pigeon on the L this morning!

By sheer coincidence, CC and I both started work at noon in the Loop today, so we rode in together. As we stepped off the wooden platform into the L car, we found that we were entering the midpoint of a strange scene: there was a sizable gray pigeon flapping this way and that inside the car, crashing into windows and seeming on the verge of hurting itself. Passengers were beginning to move to the other end of the car.

By now the doors had closed and we were rattling down the track towards the next station, which would be coming up in scarcely a minute. When the pigeon stopped thrashing about for a moment, CC walked calmly up to it and placed her hands on either side of it, a fraction of an inch away from touching it. The pigeon allowed her to do this and the two of them held this pose for a long moment, until we began slowing down at the next station. Just before the doors opened, CC cupped her hands together, picked up the bird, and quickly ushered it onto the platform, right past the bewildered passengers trying to board the train. The doors slid shut and we took our seats; checking them first to make sure our feathered friend had not left any mementoes of his visit. Order had been restored and everyone quickly settled into their customary train attitudes.

We did, though, have to take a moment to quietly discuss the synchronicity of this event. On the previous two evenings, we had taken in a great deal of Animal Planet. For the uninitiated, that’s a cable channel devoted to animal programming of all sorts. CC had just been musing the night before about how much she would love to work with animals; how she wished there were some way she could do that. It seems that someone heard her. Perhaps it was the pigeon, huddling close to our building on a sub-zero night, deciding to give her a chance.
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