By Katrina Tweedie (From Seeds February 2022)
It was a cold, wet November day in Glasgow and Baby Pigeon was sleeping, cooried in to her mother’s soft downy feathers.
A loud noise woke her. She peeked out from under her mother’s wing.
‘What are all those humans doing?’ she asked.
‘They are marching to ask their leaders to save the planet.’
‘There are so many humans! I’ve never seen so many. . . but where are the pigeons?’
‘We weren’t invited.’
‘Where are the kingfishers, the spiders and the trees, the woodpeckers, the dormice and the bees?’
‘Where are the sticklebacks, the otters and the plants, the dandelions, lobsters and the ants?’
Where are the sparrowhawks, the badgers and the bats, the butterflies, the starlings
and the. . .’
‘None of us were invited’ Mother Pigeon interrupted. She sighed.
‘The mice have got in but they’re only interested in the food.’
Baby Pigeon nearly fell out of their nest. ‘NONE OF US WERE INVITED!
But the humans don’t own the planet. They share it with US! ALL of US!’
‘Ah, my beautiful little pigeon, you try telling THEM that!’
‘I will!’ Baby Pigeon exclaimed, and she was off!
Out from under Mother Pigeon’s wing, down onto the road into the midst of the marchers. Big shoes and boots all around her, the sound of thumping feet louder than the shouting and music.
She could no longer tell where she was. All she could see was legs, hundreds of legs. Suddenly, she was scooped up in soft woollen hands and looked up at kind eyes.
‘Baby Pigeon, if you walk here someone might stand on you by mistake. Fly to the very front where people can see you and you will be safe.’
And that is why Baby Pigeon became the star of the march. She flew to the front and took up her position a metre or two ahead of the humans.
Head held high and chest puffed out, she led the march all the way to the leaders’ building.
Inside the building, there were rows and rows of humans sitting wearing earphones. None of them even glanced up at the drumming and chanting just outside their window.
Baby Pigeon looked round at the procession. Everyone was chanting ‘Save our planet!’ Still nobody inside looked up. Then she looked again at the building. The window was open
and she would be able to fly through it.
A small boy was watching her and he, too, realised she could fly through. He wrote a message and offered it to her. She shook her head. ‘Not good enough,’ she thought.
He wrote another message but again she refused it.
But the third message, the third message was perfect. He popped it into her beak.
Baby Pigeon flew through the window and landed in front of the human speaking, who gasped.
There was a silence, then the speaker picked up the message and read it out.
Then one of the humans shouted, ‘Oui!’ And then other humans shouted,
‘Ja!’ ‘Ndio!’, ‘Na’am!’, ‘Yes!’ until they were all shouting.
Everyone leapt up, clapped and cheered Baby Pigeon.
Then they burst through the doors out to the marchers and started dancing and laughing with them.
Later, when Baby Pigeon was nestling into Mother Pigeon again, Mother Pigeon asked, ‘And what did the last message say?’
And Baby Pigeon replied, ‘We will just have to wait and see.’
And so will we.