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Lew the Pigeon Makes a Friend
Lost in NYC, Lew makes a new friend that’s going to show him around. Lew will also get his first glimpse of the NYC bird party scene!
Lew’s journey through New York City continues in today’s story. For those new to the series, Lew is a pigeon lost in the Big Apple.
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Up on that random roof in New York City, I stood motionless as the white pigeon that had saved my life walked away from me.
Now that the action of the escape had settled, my wing hurt more than ever. I wasn’t flying anywhere.
Eventually, the white pigeon realised I wasn’t following and looked back at me.
I felt so small and helpless.
“I can’t fly,” I said.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“My wing,” I said. “Something’s wrong with it. I can’t fly.”
The white pigeon walked back towards me.
“What’s the matter?” he said.
“I can barely move it,” I said.
He walked around me, inspecting me.
“What happened?” he asked.
“A kid with a slingshot,” I said. “That’s what happened.”
He reached out carefully to touch my wing. The second he made contact I let out a giant chirp of pain.
He let go and looked at me.
“I know how to fix it,” he said. “It’s going to hurt. But only for a second.”
The thought of even more pain was enough to make me nauseous.
“What are you going to do?” I asked.
“Your wing is dislocated,” he said. “It’s not sitting right. It needs to be readjusted. It will be worth it. Trust me.”
I gritted my beak and braced for impact.
The white pigeon very gently took hold of my wing.
“Three… Two… One!”
The burst of pain was so brief I could barely even register it. Then, suddenly, an internal relief as if I had just become as light as a single feather.
He let go of my wing. I took a moment to adjust to the lack of pain and then I tried moving it. Nothing! No stinging, no hurting. I couldn’t believe it.
“Thank you,” I said. “How did you do that?”
I looked up and the white pigeon was already walking away.
“Are you coming?” he asked.
I scrambled after him.
“Wait,” I said. “Your name. What’s your name?”
“Francois,” he said.
“Nice to meet you, Francois,” I said.
I waited for him to ask for my name but he never did.
“I’m Lew,” I had to say finally.
“Lew…” he said absently. “Try not to fall behind.”
We got to the edge of the roof.
“Do you feel up to it?” asked Francois.
I nodded. “Lead the way.”
Francois then took off into the air. I flapped my wings and flew after him.
The cool air felt incredible as it rushed along my feathers. It felt so good to be flying normally without pain. I would never take flight for granted again.
I followed Francois through the air. We were gliding just above the bustling streets. The army of cars were cued up and barely moving.
In my natural element flying above streets, I was able to get a clearer idea of what New York City was all about. This was a city unlike anything I had ever seen.
The wild chaos of the streets down below made me anxious — all of that noise and movement and action. I didn’t see where pigeons fitted in. There was just too much going on. It reminded me of the storms on the cruise ships — massive waves knocking the ship about as if it were just a toy to be played with. If a pigeon went anywhere near those waves it would be plucked like a flower petal. Those streets down below seemed the same, like they could pull you under water if you got too close.
As we flew along, I spotted a group of a dozen or so pigeons standing menacingly in a line on a rooftop. It was the pigeons from the big green statue.
“You know them?” asked Francois.
“I bumped into them when I first got here,” I said. “Not the friendliest bunch.”
“That’s an understatement,” said Francois.
The leader of the pigeons then took off from the rooftop and the others followed. As they cut across the street to go down an alley, I caught a brief glance of the pigeon that had helped me and told me how to get to the city.
The group disappeared behind a corner and Francois and I kept flying forward.
Finally, after a few more blocks, Francois started flying towards a rooftop.
At the corner of the rooftop there was a giant billboard playing a video of a cat being fed by their human. The monstrously huge cat made my feathers shiver.
Francois rounded the billboard. There was a short walled-off, roofed ledge across the back of it. Francois landed at the barred entrance of the ledge area. He slipped through in between the bars and I followed.
I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t what I found. The enclosed ledge behind the billboard was a bustle of birds. I followed Francois as he made his way through the crowd. They were everywhere, all different kinds of birds – tiny birds, big birds, colourful birds. A small choir of wrens sat on a ledge on the wall and sang for everyone. It was like a party.
Birds were dancing to the music and nibbling on seeds and bobbing their heads into little plastic cups which had been set up around the place. There was even a can of drink that had been chopped in half and was being used as a bird bath. There were birds standing on edges on the walls and in the air there were more birds dancing and playfully chasing each other.
There were so many birds I had never seen before. I also hadn’t ever seen so many different types of birds all together like that. Something about it made me happy – everyone together and enjoying themselves. I was used to just being around pigeons. That place behind the billboard just felt so buzzing with life.
I wanted to stop and dance too but Francois was walking fast and I had to keep up.
We made it through to a cardboard bench that blocked the way. Standing behind the bench was a little red robin and behind that robin was a big cardboard wall.
The robin was selling seeds and morsels to a queue of birds in exchange for human coins.
Francois walked up to the counter. The red robin spotted him.
“Francois, how can I help you?” she said.
“I need to speak with Howell,” he replied.
Here is the next part in Lew’s story:
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