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A Lost Pigeon Named Lew
It turns out that being a pigeon isn't all fish and chips...
Once upon a time, I had all the rotten fish I could ever want. Life was easy. Life was simple.
I lived with a bunch of pigeons by some fish markets. It was glorious. Throughout the day we would laze around on the beach and soak up the sun, living the good life. Then, once the morning rush was over, we would head to the docks just next to the fish markets. Each day, the fishmongers would ditch the leftover fish that no one wanted. Every day was a feast. We would get so full we could barely fly.
And then, suddenly, overnight, everything changed.
We all showed up as usual, but there weren't any humans to be seen. The fish in the water that scavenged there were also confused. No one knew what had happened. We waited and waited but not a single fish was thrown into the water. We went back the next day too. And the next day... And the next day... But there was still nothing.
And so, apparently, the humans had stopped dumping their leftover fish in the water. No more feasts. No more anything.
There was a lot of tension among the group. Hunger tends to do that.
It was desperate times. We tried scavenging for food at a local park -- pinching chips, swooping at burgers. I'm not proud of how we behaved, but what other choice did we have? It was that or starvation.
Anyway, soon enough, a day came along that changed everything all over again.
We hadn't had a proper meal in days and we were getting particularly itchy. We were all on the beach bugging a family for some fish and chips. Everyone was being extra chirpy -- myself included. I was hungry and frustrated and my stomach was so shrunken that I thought it might just disappear entirely.
Anyway, the family eventually finished what they could eat and then one of the kids took the leftovers and threw them up high into the air for us. Down came the last scraps of fish and chips like falling snowflakes.
What followed was one of the most awful sights I have ever witnessed... My very own family and friends fighting each other, screaming at each other, pecking and clawing. And I was part of it.
Eventually, all of the fish and chips were eaten and we were left to stand in silence on the beach. No one said a word.
That was when I spotted a ship on the horizon. It was enormous, far bigger than any ship I had ever seen.
I couldn't help thinking about the ships at the old dock next to the fish markets. I hadn't gotten a single bite of the fish and chips scraps and my stomach was hurting. So I took off.
Flying above the waves, it turned out to be extremely windy out there. The wind pushed and pulled me from side to side and I had to flap my wings hard to keep on course.
Finally, I made it to the boat.
It was very different to any boat I had seen before. It was so big it was like an island. There was a pool and lots of humans everywhere. And there was food! There was so, so much food!
It seemed like every single person on the boat was eating.
I eyed off a table with no one sitting there. Before I even knew what I was doing, I swooped in, driven by hunger.
There were chips and burgers and nuggets. Instantly, I started stuffing my face with anything and everything I could get my beak on.
It was heaven. I went into a complete frenzy. I didn't just eat the food, I attacked it. My stomach was at full stretch, but I just kept going.
Then it happened -- something struck me in the ribs and knocked me off the table. I hit the ground, dazed. My head was spinning. I tried to climb to my feet.
I looked up and there was a kid with a slingshot standing right over me. Too shocked to move, I just looked at him. Grinning, he aimed the slingshot straight at me. He started pulling back the elastic band, about to fire. Just as he released it, I managed to scramble out of the way, just dodging the projectile.
I could see him loading his slingshot to fire it again.
I went to take off into the air but banged into the table. Scrambling, I tried again. As I pulled into the air, the kid fired the slingshot again and this time hit me right in the wing. It stung like nothing else and knocked me into a brief freefall.
I could barely move my wing. Desperate, I flapped my other wing as hard as I could and just managed to stay in the air.
I flew as far away from the pool area as I could to the other end of the boat. I managed to find a little tucked-away spot and landed.
I was in agony. Every nerve in my wing felt like it was electrocuting me. That was when I passed out...
When I finally woke up, I was boiling hot from baking in the sun for who knows how long. I stood up and my wing was still aching.
I made my way to the railing to look out from the boat, but there was no beach to be seen. There was nothing to be seen at all. I was surrounded by ocean.
I looked around to try and get my bearings. If I was going to have any hope of getting home, I had to get flying straight away. But the instant I tried to flap my injured wing, I was engulfed in pain. There was no chance I was in flying condition -- not for a flight of that distance. I was stranded...
I stayed on the boat and ate scraps while my wing healed. It felt like I was there for a lifetime.
Finally, we eventually docked.
With my wing feeling slightly better, I managed to fly to shore.
Which leads me to where I am now.
I'm in the biggest city I've ever seen, New York City, and I've never been hungrier in my life.
But I think I just might have a plan...
Check out the next part in Lew’s story:
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