In antiquity, when Greek soldiers spotted an eagle before battle, it was a good omen, a sign of the gods’ favour. I just looked out the window and as my eyes rested on a pigeon sitting on a telephone wire, it took a crap and flew away. What do you think that means?
I’ve always had a weird relationship with birds. They seem untrustworthy in the same way that cyclists do when they bike on main streets. They’re nimble and have unpredictable trajectories. (For the record, my uneasiness around birds did not begin with Hitchcock’s Birds, but I will say that the movie only confirmed my suspicions.)
When I was in high school, I stayed home one day to finish an essay. No one was there, so it was quiet, the perfect atmosphere for concentration. I was on a roll when I was interrupted by a bird flying around my window, pecking on the glass. The noise in itself was startling but what was more unnerving was how this sparrow-sized bird kept tapping on the glass as though it wanted inside. As I watched the little thing get crazier, a hawk-sized bird appeared out of the ether and scooped up the tapper in its giant talons. I think I screamed. I had witnessed the circle of life from my living room.
Rewind a few years before that and you’ll find a young Jennie having a picnic with her family. She is eating a delicious turkey sub when a bold seagull (again, out of nowhere) swoops down and steals the meat from her sandwich mid-bite. Jennie is scared by the predator and cries.
Let’s put it this way, the only time a bird did me any favours was when one of them pooped on my brother’s back while he was sunbathing.
I know there’s a history-making election going on and you have more important things to read, but when I saw the pigeon I knew the aforementioned had to be said.
Happy voting to my American friends:) Let the eagle soar.