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Thursday, August 02, 2007

a small death

One day, just as it was time to prune the rose, I discovered that a pigeon had made a untidy nest in the rose pot and that there were two eggs in the nest. Not wanting to disturb the pigeon by removing what little cover the rose leaves offered, I did not prune it. Over the next days, we stopped going out onto the top balcony since it disturbed the brooding pigeon too much. I started saving every crumb I could find, scattering it for the pigeon every other day. I did not like the way she left the eggs when I went onto the balcony early in the morning, so I asked The One to do it later in the day when it was not so cold.

About two weeks ago, on a Saturday morning, I took out the crumbs myself. To my delight, I discovered a little shaky and damp yellow thing in the nest - one of the eggs had hatched! Strangely, there was no sign of the other egg. I felt very proud that a new life had started on our little balcony. We started giving the pigeon crumbs every day. She was still scared of us, but did not fly away anymore when we came onto the balcony. She just jumped off the nest, sitting warily on the edge, ready to fly at a moment's notice.

Last week I was cleaning the apartment when I noticed that the pigeon was not on the nest. I had become used to checking on her through the curtains every time I passed by. I thought she had gone to find food or something like that. Feeling uneasy, I kept my eye on the nest while going about my chores. When the pigeon had not returned after about an hour, I decided to investigate. As I opened the door, I had a premonition of what I would find. The tiny chick lay dead in the nest. Somehow, a twig from the nest had fallen across its back; the pressure of the weight of the pigeon against the twig had most probably suffocated it. I was terribly sad.

I buried the stiff little thing in the rose pot where its tiny life had started. The pigeon sat on the roof of the block of apartments across from us, watching me. I like to think that she was thankful.

I have not been able to bring myself to prune the rose.

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