When we were looking for a farm property four years ago, apple trees were a huge selling point. We had planted a few apple trees on our little lot in the city and dreamed of when they would produce fruit. We almost bought a property just because it had apple trees. I am glad we kept looking. I can now see how much we were aching for country life.
Another sign that we needed to get some land involved pigeons. The children and I witnessed a pigeon get run over right in front of our old city house in broad daylight. The poor thing didn’t even make a sound. We clearly needed to act. We scooped the little guy up with some towels and put him in a cardboard box. I called the DNR and some other animal care centers to see what we should do. They had nothing for me. Shocked at the lack of proper animal care in the world, we took him into our covered porch. I know, I was acting kind of silly, but we would see these poor guys warming all winter by chimney tops like hobos at a burn barrel. We needed to do what we could which wasn’t much. Just a place to rest and eat.
Once we felt it was time for our little bird guy to go back to the life of hard-knocks, we released him onto our small front yard. He jetted into a big bush, and we felt we had done our humane duty. Yeah, unfortunately the irredescent green/blue guy didn’t fly off.
A child of ours went to check on him later that night only to see a flurry of pigeon feathers and a stray dog strutting the street like a big, fat bully! We felt so much injustice and we were clearly on the justice league for helping out those feathered pigeon friends.
Ironically, fast forward like two months. We are researching how to get rid of a certain kind of pest. The pigeons are congregating on our roof. The neighbors that park on the side of our house started to complain about pigeon poop. My husband and another friendly neighbor sealed off any spots that were an opening for them into our attic.
The pigeons still perched. We began to consider a costly apparatus that would deter them from our high roof top. Perhaps a poke in the derriere? Or an owlish eye thingy? But first we needed to try a cheaper route, a homesteader’s route, if you will? A husband with a pellet gun route.
Frank, similar to the pigeon we found in the road, had always been a city dweller but had some pretty good country folk roots from his mother’s side, as I am sure the pigeon had as well. To avoid suspicion, he would wake up extra early with the pellet gun hid along his leg and head out onto our side lot to pluck those pigeons down.
I had completely turned my alliances and felt so relieved when I heard them from the inside of our house hit the pavement outside. I know you are thinking there is no way I could have heard them, but I did. Ka thump! I would be enjoying my morning coffee. Ka thump! Is that Mozart, I hear? I also considered how we would never go hungry with all those big breasted pigeons. See my country folk roots were beginning to emerge as well. Rest assured we never went hungry, at least not enough to eat pigeon meat, thus far that is.
We were a little concerned with city ordinances and all, but the internet did not offer any definitive answer and everyone we talked with agreed it was worth a shot. If we wrong, ignorance was bliss. The whole neighborhood was really quite pleased, and most likely quite amused, with our shenanigan done in neighborly civility. Even the neighbor who was on the city council and parked along the side of our house, seemed more than fine with changing our neighborhood into a mob. Everyone was happy, except for the guy with the next tallest roof a few houses down. He can borrow our pellet gun if he likes.
I grew concerned that this thing had gone too far when my husband was spotted very early one morning by a passing college kid with his gun pinned along his side. I could not believe there wasn’t a visit from the police to follow. Oddly, we did get a visit from the police many months later for a complaint that a man, and they incorrectly ascertained that perhaps that man was my husband, had urinated along the side of our house. It was the same side as the pigeons did their thing on, which is curious. I can attest under oath to the fact that my husband never had a desire to pee outdoors while living in the city. Perhaps it was a mix-up with the nature of the complaint? Or, the neighbor who got all of our pigeons on his roof had perhaps added his urination to the stoolie pigeon mix in retaliation. Most likely it was just a drunk college kid.
Nevertheless, one thing was for sure, we had turned solid redneck and should evacuate the city as soon as possible.
Follow-up: Certain males may, or may not, occasionally feel the desire to tinkle outside here in the country while out frolicking vast meadows with birds humming about and the deer nibbling on the fallen, crisp apples. And that is completely, and totally, and absolutely, different from wee-weeing outside in the city. And that goes for pigeons, too!