[…Continued from Part 4] My prince is gone.
I’ll never forget the first time we met. I arrived home to find him standing at my front door. I said hello and he jumped up on the railing to get a better look at me. Not certain of his name, my daughter dubbed him PeeBee, short for Pretty Bird.
PeeBee soon learned that there’s fine bird seed and peanuts to be had in the back garden and he started spending his days there. Each morning I’d come out at the same time and he would be there waiting for me. I’d pour the seed and then talk to him for a while. If I tried to leave too soon, he’d hop down to the ground and follow me. Sweet bird.
Before long, all of the other critters in the Empire had met our fine Prince and befriended him. PeeBee played no favourites (except perhaps me). He was willing to share with anyone who came along and didn’t seem to fear or cause fear in anyone.
The squirrels could be engaged in five-way wars and PeeBee would just stand there in the midst of their chaos, bobbing his head now and then to get a better look.
Some days I would be doing yoga in the house and I’d look out to find PeeBee doing yoga on the fence.
Eventually, I would be working in the back garden and PeeBee would fly around from roof top to roof top. I could call him and he’d come flying over to our house and then hop down onto the fence, confident that I had left him something delicious to eat.Smart bird.
After a few weeks together, I began to worry about PeeBee’s future. He was a tame pigeon living like a free bird. I did not want to confine him in a cage for the winter, but I knew his chances of survival would not be great without some assistance.
We had many conversations about this, he and I. I told him, if he was going to find a better winter home, he should do it soon. There were also a lot of hawks spending a little too much time on the roof tops, and I suspected they were trying to figure out how to spell PeeBee so they could put his name on the dinner menu.
Soon after we went on a day trip. I had a feeling that morning would be the last time I saw PeeBee. Sure enough, he wasn’t there when we arrived home. Or the next day. Or the day after that. And I haven’t seen my sweet prince since then.
My hopes are that he found another sweet spot to land. Somewhere safe and warm with good seed, fresh water, and more fine conversation. I miss our morning talks. He was a great listener.
Farewell, PeeBee. It was a honour having you here.