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A Shout From The Attic: My Pigeon

...Did I expect him to keep quiet? Probably. He could be heard scrabbling about inside the drawer, no doubt railing against the darkness, and the lodgers who slept in the big attic started asking awkward questions such as, “Have you got a pigeon in that drawer?”...

Ronnie Bray tells of a feathered friend.

To read earlier chapters of Ronnie's life story please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/a_shout_from_the_attic/

Methinks I bought my pigeon from the same place I bought my white mouse: the Hampson brothers at the far end of Water Street, almost against the water works depot. I took him home, put him in a drawer in the big attic, and fed him bits of bread. Don’t ask me why I didn’t keep him in the bottom of the three drawer chest in my small attic.

Did I expect him to keep quiet? Probably. He could be heard scrabbling about inside the drawer, no doubt railing against the darkness, and the lodgers who slept in the big attic started asking awkward questions such as, “Have you got a pigeon in that drawer?” Why pick on me, I thought in my wide-eyed boyish innocence. Although I didn’t think he would be well received by my enemy, the household-at-large, he was made welcome and my Dad even made him a cage out of an orange box, and hung it on the outside wall to the right of our back door.

His new home meant that he got better fed, watered, and cared for. A quantity of pearl barley was bought and he did well and seemed happy. Then, he disappeared. It is foolish to trudge the streets looking for a lost pigeon, but what else could I do? Then, it was reported that Barry Heap had found a pigeon and was giving it a good home. My grandfather was sent round to his home, where, it is said, the pigeon “recognised my grandfather,” made a fuss of him, and leapt into his arms. Granddad carried my grateful pigeon home, and put him in his cage on the back wall where he was free to fly at will.

I used to play with the lovely grey bird with the iridescent green neck feathers. I don’t know if he liked it or not, but he seemed tame. That is why I was surprised when he left without saying goodbye and did not appear again, either at my home or at Barry’s. Perhaps he went back to greenier days with his family at the Hampson’s. I don’t know, and never asked, but he was a homing pigeon. But, for a short while I was a member of the pigeon fanciers, and enjoyed my feathered friend.

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