Saturday, October 07, 2006


The dear doctor who lived here at the 'The Pines'in the nineteenth century,long before there were automobiles or proper roads, used pigeon post . On his journeys into the countryside the doctor would take pigeons to leave with his patients so they could let him know of their progress. The pigeon house eventually disintrigated and has been replaced by a replica. Some of the present pigeons may even be decendants. Well they are part of this artificial ecology surrounding my pond and can often be
seen sunbathing and drinking.

I have always been very fond of pigeons as when I was a boy of ten I constructed a pigeon coup and hoped one day to race them. This never happened,because later when at about sixteen my father was transferred. I was at boarding school and it was a very sad situation having to get rid of all my homing pigeons. On returning to school after the holidays I hid a baby squeeker under my jersey and boarded the train for the overnight journey.I fed it by chewing the grain and then feeding the bird from my mouth until it was able to fend for itself. I made a box for it and put it on top of the book cupboard in the house commonroom.This was its refuge for the next few months till the end of the year. I settled for the name 'choccy' because of its colour. Well as the weeks went by Choccy became stronger and was able to fly and spent most of the time outside returning at night to its box. I though nothing strange about it at the time but no matter where I was outside he was able to find me and would swoop down and come and sit on my shoulder, picking me out from the other boys. His antics amused every one, sometimes disrupting assembly by making pigeon noises while perched high up on the hall cinema screen or flying down onto the table during exams,and strutting around on one of the tables examining the pencils.

Well eventually the year ended and I travelled with the family to a holiday resort by the sea. His box was nailed to a beam under the eave near my room and that became his home for the next few weeks, flying around and returning at night. All good things come to an end and I was forced to leave the pigeon there as we were to go to live for a while in a city hotel.

The Pines Pigeons were fed every evening in their house but one evening I forgot and several of them came and sat on the roof all facing and staring at me until I got the message. They had never sat on the roof before as their house is very much higher up on a hill.

Pigeons have an intelligence and concienceness that we will never know. they know things we can never understand and it is arrogant of us to think humans are the only ones with intelligence and that animals only have instincts.


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