It’s an interesting concept – ‘a little birdie told me’. But after playing scarecrow and pigeon lady with the birds in San Marco, I realize something. I’m radically different from many people in the world. Other people in the square ran and screamed as the pigeons came to them or flew by. When the pigeons flew past me, I usually stopped what I was doing to watch it fly into the distance. When the pigeons come to me, I have the childish urge to run at them and make them fly some more.
However, I’m also different in that I love having the birds on my arms and shoulders. Maybe it’s because I had a parakeet when I was little, but a pigeon hopping onto my shoulder while I was taking a picture didn’t bother me at all. I just let him sit there. Then some other pigeons spotted the bread from my lunch and jumped on my arm to eat it from my hand. Before long, I have four or five pigeons on me at a time, including my shoulder buddy who sat there like a nice little bird and cooed cutely in my ear.
Other people, I’ve noticed, seem to fear the birds because of disease or being scratched or some other reason I don’t fully understand. If they were vultures, I would totally understand, but they’re not. They’re pigeons. They flock to bread, not diseased corpses. Other people also don’t like touching the birds or feeling the birds grab to their arms. But I could barely feel them at all, and the weight there was more of a comfort than a worry. My roommates also asked if I ignored the concern of pigeon poo getting on me. It crossed my mind, yes, but the only poop let out on me or my things happened to get on my relatively cheap purse and came off with a napkin.
Perhaps I’m weird because the pigeons made me calm and serene rather than scared or anxious. But perhaps it shows how silly some people are for their fear. I’d gladly do it again if the birds would agree.
Maybe there’s a life lesson in this rant somewhere.