If you did not read the post from yesterday about Perry the Pigeon you might want to do that first, to give you the background on the following story. Or not.
I am sad to report that Perry the Pigeon has Perished. My much hoped for expungement of my dismal animal rescue record was not to be. When I returned home this morning from taking the kids to D&B to pick up some cracked corn for Perry and then dropping said wee ones off at preschool, this is what I found. I don’t know if he succumbed to his injuries by the dogs and cats yesterday (likely) or the rigors of his photo shoot in the hands of Handsome Hubby this morning, but he was dead.
Handsome Hubby suggested that I put Perry in a ziploc bag and freeze him to save him for training Winston the Maniac Birddog Puppy a little later in the spring, but I knew that wouldn’t fly with the kids (har har). When I picked them up from preschool a couple of hours later, the first question they asked was of course “How’s Perry?!” I told them the truth, that Perry had passed away. Annabelle is my stoic one. She shrugged and said “That’s OK Mom. Pigeons are really dirty birds anyway and they poop all over everything.” Zachary was very quiet. I knew this meant trouble.
You see, Zach had gone into such a state of despair after the death of Bluey, the Blue Betta fish (we’re pretty clever with names around here) that I had to make an emergency run to PetCo that same afternoon to purchase a new, red, Betta fish. That the kids named….wait for it…..Reddy.
Anyway, Zach was pretty calm all the way home until he walked in the door and looked in the box. Then the hysterics began. He was so upset that I almost started crying, and I believe that I made it pretty clear how I feel about pigeons in the original Perry story. Zach wailed. His little face turned red and big fat tears rolled down his cheeks. He asked over and over again if I thought that Perry was *really* dead and if I thought he might come back to life. He was beyond consolation.
I finally calmed him down a little bit by suggesting that he could choose one of his old baby blankets to bury Perry in. He chose a nice little blue and white cotton blanket (I would like to say right now that if the blanket that appears in the following photo is one you gave Zach as a baby gift….I’m sorry). We put the bird down on the blanket and Annabelle came up with the idea of sprinkling a little of the cracked corn on the blanket so he would have something to eat on the way to heaven. Nice touch, I thought.
Then we wrapped Perry up in a nice tidy little package that dripped small pieces of cracked corn all over the hardwood floor.
Zach was still too upset to even consider touching the bundle, but Annabelle happily picked it up and carried it outside.
We had chosen a nice little spot in the orchard outside our yard where (most importantly for mommy, the digger) the dirt was nice and soft. I dug the hole, every strike of the shovel punctuated by the wailing of my three year old son. When I thought I was finished, he made me dig it deeper. Twice.
Finally we were ready. I would like to say that Annabelle gently placed the poor deceased bird in the hole, but she actually just tossed him in.
I straightened the blanket before I took the photo.
Then we put the dirt on top and put some rocks to cover it so the cats and dogs wouldn’t try to dig it up. Annabelle helped. Zach just watched and cried.
When it was all said and done, Zach stood for several minutes just looking at the rocks. And crying. I felt so bad I almost offered to take him to get a hamster at PetCo. He really wants a hamster. I don’t.
Then we went in the house. Zach was still sniffling. Annabelle is ever the helper in little brother management. She said “You know Zach, it’s not that bad that Perry died. Pigeons are very dirty birds and they poop all over the horses in the barn, and they even poop on your head.”
Zach thought long and hard about this. Then he stopped crying, made a big face, and said “EEWWWWWWWW!!! That is so gross. I HATE pigeons!” and he hasn’t mentioned Perry since.
I am SO glad I didn’t offer up the hamster.