Columns 12.5.2017 06:31 am

Certainly not pie in the sky

AFP/File / Sam Panthaky<br />

AFP/File / Sam Panthaky

The pigeon was obviously unable to survive on its own, so my wife fed it.

So my wife, who runs a coffee shop, has a new pet. A pigeon.

She found the little fluff ball walking around the garden at the shop a few weeks back. I use the word walking in the poetic sense. It was really just wobbling about. It had almost no feathers, just little pieces of fluff.

It was obviously unable to survive on its own, so my wife fed it. First it was breadcrumbs. Couldn’t get enough. Then the little bird got a water bowl.

By now it concluded that my wife must be its mother. She feeds, she cares, she must be mom.

Within a week, it looked a lot more like a real bird. It was flying short distances and made itself comfortable on a branch barely two metres off the ground.

My wife named it Parker. But a bird cannot live on breadcrumbs alone, so she bought it a delicious seed selection.

At first the little one ate like it was the last food on planet Earth. But with every passing day, the bird would become more and more fussy.

I noticed it wasn’t eating as much as it was picking out its favourite seeds.

I noticed another peculiarity. Parker is afraid of other birds.

With an abundance of seed in the garden, there are suddenly a lot of other birds joining in the feast. And Parker doesn’t like it.

He’s afraid of the others, so much so that he hides on my wife’s lap whenever other birds come close to him.

Then he discovered people food.

Living in a coffee shop means there’s always someone feasting on toast or muffins and eggs and cheese and other yummies. And Parker joins in.

It is a full time job keeping the little bugger away from the customers. He is permanently sitting on someone’s shoulder, jumping onto a table and picking at whatever is on the nearest plate.

To my astonishment his favourites are grated cheese and coconut. Individually I like those too, but as a combination it’s horrible. For me, that is.

Strangely enough the customers don’t mind.

In fact, Parker has become quite the celebrity.

With Mother’s Day around the corner, my wife asked me to help her select a special menu. The stare I got when I suggested pigeon pie!

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