During the past month, we’ve been able to observe the miracle of birth from one of the vilest creatures known to man. The pigeon is no one’s idea of a cute bird. When I found one roosting beneath our water heater on our back porch, I wondered both:

  1. How our back porch, which routinely gets dog pee, cigarette butts, and at the moment, a couple gallons worth of rotting pickles leftover from this event, could really get much worse
  2. Whether it was ethical to smash a pigeon egg and deprive the world of another rat with wings.

None of my roommates or I were able to muster up the energy or courage to face down Mama Pigeon, who would do a ritual involving cooing and hopping up and down whenever we got close to her nest. Then one day, the inevitable happened:

In my opinion, you can still tell that this thing will grow up to become an ugly Winged Rat. My guess, however, was that the chick never stood a chance.

Flashback to 4th grade, in Ms. Dowell’s class, when we attempted to hatch some chicks using an incubator. Ms. Dowell made the mistake of allowing us to name the chicks when they hatched. This was either a tragic mistake or an early taste of dark scholastic humor, because 95% of the chicks immediately died. We would come in every morning and remove the dead birds from our cage. I was envious of a friends’ bird, which he had named after himself (Jake the person, Jake the chicken), because it lasted a week.

In any event, Baby and Mama Bird Rat were gone by afternoon. Despite by revulsion, I’d like to think of it soaring skyward, the dove of tenement Mission housing.

“Where do my Bluebird Fly” by The Tallest Man on Earth