Pigeons at my window 2

One morning the two white eggs had turned into two chicks. One light gray, one dark gray, one a little bigger than the other.
They raised their head and looked at me. They were alive and alert, and helpless. Certainly at the total mercy of life.
I remembered my first meeting with their parents. And all the times I had taken a look at their nest, making sure at the same time that no one had got entangled in the net.

I had noticed that the two pigeons were agitated when I arrived and therefore I had got into the habit of giving them a signal, emitting my animal sound, so that they could get away without panicking and getting stuck.

And I started giving them a handful of dal every day, to sanction our “friendship”. For a few days after the accident I hadn’t even opened the window, so as not to interfere, but then I felt that it was better, after all, to clarify my position: “Hey, you are my guests. And I know you will soon fill this corner of my house with shit and other jolly goods, so at least get used to my presence ”. After all, the purpose of the protective net was precisely to keep away the pigeons, very beautiful birds, but questionable, to say the least, as far as hygiene goes!

In my heart I had decided that once the little ones grew up, and with the rainy season ending, I would kindly evict them from the balcony and repair the net. But then and there, we had long weeks to live together and so we might have as well… lived them.

So slowly the two adult pigeons got used to my presence. At my signal, they would go away, but without panic, as I took a look at the chicks and scattered the handful of dal of the day on the balcony. And there was no shit in sight. Probably pigeons’ hygiene improves around their own nest.
The chicks became bigger and bigger every day and, as always, they would raise their heads and look at me.

Finally, one day, I found them outside the nest, on the balcony. They were still small, but no longer round and shaggy as babies: perfect pigeons. Basically teenagers. They learned to fly immediately and with no drama.

Within a few days the parents were gone and the two teenagers, a little bit bigger every day, had become the official residents of the balcony. No longer in the nest, now abandoned, but on the exhaust pipe of the outer unit of the air conditioner. The monsoon is over and during the day they are almost always in flight, but at sunset they return to crouch.

And also the shit has arrived …

The most amazing thing, and also very beautiful, is that these two new pigeons were born accustomed to my presence, and although I continue to make my noises to warn them of my arrival, they do not move away. They let me approach and look at me, like that first day when they were born! Only if I really try to reach out and enter their space with more decision do they jump back, but they don’t run away!

And so I find myself in a situation that I had absolutely not foreseen.

I see two parts of me trying to come to an arrangement… The most mental, rational and practical part, argues that it is unhealthy to let pigeons, and especially their feces, get so close, because they could be carriers of even serious diseases ( such as bird flu). “Basically” I think “establishing clear boundaries with animals has been and still is an important part of the evolutionary drive of the human species”. And then there is the heart, which sees the beauty of being in a sort of intimacy with two creatures I saw from the egg and who saw me from the first day of their outer life.

It’s nice to open the window and see them squatting there, fearless! This is also a very strong evolutionary drive, if not of the species, which has already inflicted so much damage to other species, certainly of human awareness, in the direction of respect and love. I like to share my space with other living beings, realizing that it is also THEIR space, that they have the same right that I have to live in it. And it is not true that they are my guests, we are all guests of this Earth, and it is not always necessary to compete, we can live together. And in these long months of lockdown, except for my cat whom I already had a relationship with, the crows, the pigeons, the little dwellers of the plants in my balconies, and even the gekos, were practically the only beings that inhabited the physical space around me. And thanks to the isolation and the absence of distractions that invited me to go in rather than out, something changed and I began to really see them and feel them, and to include them rather than mechanically scared them away as I had always done.

Back to the pigeons, now every day I or Sangeeta, the woman who helps me in cleaning the house, throw a bucket of water and soap on the debris and once a week we sweep it away with a hard broom.

It is not perfection, but a loving and… hygienic choice at the same time.

If one day the pigeons set off to search for their respective life partners, maybe I will reseal the net. But for now it’s all nice as it is.