Monday, November 14, 2011

Child vs Pigeon

What drew my attention to him was when he paused like a statue for more than 2 minutes.  With his palm floating in the air, he waited patiently for one of them to accept his offering.  He had the intrepidness akin to all five year-old's, as he broke his frozen body and then haphazardly sprinkled some crushed up pop-corn upon the many birds collecting at his feet.  I couldn't help but stare a the child's willingness to tease and play with some of the thousands of pigeons in front of Milan's Il Duomo.  

He paused once again with a large hand-full of popcorn and waited patiently for a visitor.  Sure enough, one pigeon gently sailed into his hand to have a small taste.

Snap, snap, snap went my camera, hoping to capture the gentle connection between the pair on the cloudy, yet warm day in Milan.  He smiled and laughed with excitement while the bird quickly nibbled at the feast.  Soon 4 others rapidly swooped in as though to launch an attack on the lone soldier.  The child's facial expression grew into sudden fear as 5 more pigeons targeted the child's hand.

Snap, snap, snap I selfishly tried to capture more reaction shots.  At that moment, I could sense the child's demeanor was about to shift into a naughty state of mind.  As predicted the child winced in frustration and then vigorously shook his arm to free himself from the bombardment of the hungry pigeons.

One of the pigeons took exception to the agitation and fought back by pecking at the child's arm.  It then quickly moved up towards his face in an attempt bite on his ear.  Immediately, the child swatted at the pigeon and successfully made contact with it.  The bird fell hard onto the ground and appeared to be in a slight daze.  

Satisfied, a small mischievous look fell upon the boy's face.  He hovered over top of the bird and grabbed it by the tail feathers.  He looked right into my camera as I shamefully continued to grab photos.  He held up his trophy past his head, while the pigeon fluttered his wings to escape.

Seconds later the child threw the bird into the air.  The child laughed as he watched the pigeon perch itself on the church behind him.  Moments later, the boy then reached into his plastic bag of popcorn and held aloft his hand, hoping for another visitor.  

Antony S Scandale

story and photos copyright 2011

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