Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuppence a Bag

In the parking lot of the Walmart Garden Center this weekend, I noticed a large flock of pigeons sitting nearby. While pigeons aren’t necessarily uncommon in the city, the way they just stood there, or sat there, was odd. It seemed like they were waiting for something.

I went inside and looked around a bit at the end-of-season items, then I ended up following a man outside back to the parking lot. He called over his shoulder, “See ya!” to the cashier and carried a large bag under his arm. I didn’t think much of him until I noticed all the pigeons take flight when he came near.

The man walked to a car at the edge of the car, and all the birds – hundreds of them – followed him, circling around him and landing on his car. He opened his car trunk, almost oblivious to them.

But he was far from oblivious. I sat in my car and watched him through my windshield, and finally I saw why the birds were so interested.

He had just bought a huge bag of birdseed, which he opened and proceeded to throw huge handfuls onto the parking lot. The birds knew he was coming; he must do it every day – that’s why he was so friendly with the cashier. And that’s why they had been there, waiting.

He didn’t finish throwing handfuls until the ground was covered yellow and the birds were happy.

I like witnessing eccentric people. It makes the world more interesting.

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