Sunday, September 10, 2006

the fantastic world of Mount Royal

Welcome to my blog. My friends tell me they find my life endlessly fascinating, and want to read about it when they can't hear me talk incessantly. Thus, the inception of this blog. First post: pigeon death. A good way to start, no?

Yesterday, having the rainy and dismal Saturday all to myself, I decided to go out shopping for a few hours. As I was walking along Mount Royal street, I saw a pigeon lying on the ground beside a car, flapping its wings frantically, eyes wild, trying, without success, to get back on its feet. It was shaking and rolling upside down, absolutely panicked at its state, maybe with a broken leg, maybe sick orhaving flown into something. I stood there astonished, heart thumping, watching the little thing suffer and not knowing what to do about it. I knew all that could be done was to kill it, but being brought up with the sensibilities of a city girl, I had no idea how to do it, nor did I think I would be in the least bit capable of, say, stomping on its head.

Two guys came up next to me and commented on what needed to be done. We stood there for a bit more and then they disappeared. I stood in shock, feeling like I was about to cry, and just about to walk away, when one of the men came back with a plastic bag. "Could you please stay with me while I kill this bird? I can't do it by myself," he said, and I said, "of course." He gathered the terrified pigeon up in the bag and we walked quickly to an alleyway, where he smashed the bag repeatedly against a concrete wall. I stood by, hands at my mouth, trying not to cry. When it was over, he thanked me for being with him while he did it. We sought out a garbage to throw the lost pigeon in, and I thanked him for having the bravery to do something when most people on the street, including me, were willing to walk by and let the pigeon suffer. Then we parted ways, and I walked into the Aldo shoe outlet of all things. I walked right out again, and wandered confusedly, completely unable to keep shopping for that day.

I think most people have an overwhelming fear of death. We'd like to believe that death doesn't happen eveyrday, that it's not a part of all the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the institutions we support. Being vegetarian, for example, is one way to deny to yourself the fact that there is death involved in all aspects of consumption, and not just that of animal consumption itself (not that it is not a good thing to do and support in general). I am grateful to that man on the street for his bravery and ability to do something many people couldn't face, and I am grateful as well that I could be there to support him while he did it.

Poor little pigeon!

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