Pigeons with Plans
Lew and Francois have a new plan to get into the mall for their heist, but they're going to need some help. In the meantime, Joan takes Lew to meet her human friend...
Today’s story is part of the series about a lost pigeon named Lew in New York City and his mall heist plan…
Here’s a link to the previous part in the series:
And here’s a link all the way back to part one:
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We stood around the vent entrance, staring at it. Open it and we’d be in. Next stop the jewellery store…
Francois kept trying to twist free one of the metal pieces locking the vent shut, but it wasn’t working. We needed Ruby.
“Where can we find Ruby?” I asked Francois.
“We’ll have to wait until night-time when the billboard club opens,” said Francois.
Looking at Francois, I felt awful about the whole thing. It was all my fault. The pigeon from the park, Mac, was a goliath of fearsomeness. You don’t want to get in the way of a bird like that. And to think all I had had to do was drop the French fry… I felt like a foolish child.
I walked up cautiously beside Francois.
“I’m sorry, Francois,” I said. “I screwed everything up.”
He didn’t even look at me. He was still inspecting the vent, trying to get a look inside of it.
“You haven’t eaten today,” he said. “Go get something to eat. I’ll see you back at the cinema.”
“I know a place,” said Joan.
I looked at Joan and she nodded for me to follow her.
I breathed in my guilt and turned away from Francois, then we took off.
I could see from how casually Joan was speeding along that, just like Francois, she was an incredible flyer. I didn’t know where we were going. I just followed.
“Francois’ furious with me,” I told her finally. “I’ve ruined everything.”
“He just needs a bit of time,” said Joan. “He’s not very good with expressing his emotions. Trust me.”
“How did you two meet anyway?” I asked.
“Let’s eat first,” she said. “We’re almost there.”
“Almost where?” I asked.
“Howell’s not the only one with human friends,” she said.
Joan turned suddenly into an alleyway. We flew to a windowsill halfway up a tall brick building. There were lights on inside, but I couldn’t see any movement.
Suddenly, Joan started singing. Her voice was beautiful. I was in awe. For a moment I totally forgot what we were even doing there.
The window opened and I was so shocked I almost fell right off the windowsill. I looked over and there was a giant human face right there in the window. I was about to bolt in the opposite direction, but Joan intervened.
“It’s ok,” she said. “They’re a friend.”
I had to force myself to stay still. I trusted Joan. Still, though, it was a battle to resist the deep instinctual urge to fly away at the sight of a human up so close.
The human filled the window with their enormous face and spoke their goofy tuneless words at us. I wanted to cover my ears. Humans really must be the most abrasive-sounding animal in the whole world.
Joan and the human were talking back and forth, Joan singing her majestic songs, the human chomping their teeth together and singing the chorus of a thunderstorm. It was almost like they were somehow having a conversation. I stood by awkwardly as the exchange went on.
After a while, the human turned away and walked off.
“You can talk to humans?” I asked Joan.
Joan laughed. “Ha! No, I don’t have slightest clue what they’re saying. I think they just like to feel like they have a connection with nature.”
“What do you mean, ‘nature’?” I asked.
“Any animals that aren’t them. That’s what they think of as nature. All I know is that it’s nice to be able to be around a human that isn’t shooing you away the second they see you.”
“What are they doing now?” I asked.
“Fetching our dinner,” she said with a smile.
Sure enough, a moment later, the human returned. They came back with a cup of seeds which they sprinkled out on the windowsill. Immediately, we started feasting.
While I was eating, the human looked at me and made some clunky noises with their mouth. Briefly putting the seeds on hold, I chirped a thankful reply.
As we ate, the human went inside and brought back a small cup of water for us. I couldn’t believe what was happening. It was like we were royalty. There was no time to question it, though, not while I still had seeds to chomp down.
The human stood by the window as we ate, watching us. I think they were smiling. They kept their arms down and they stayed completely still, like they were trying not to startle us. It was the first time I had ever felt safe around a human.
We kept eating until we were absolutely stuffed.
“Done?” Joan asked.
I nodded, my tummy full to the brim.
Joan gave the human a final parting song. The human replied with a smiley but horrible song of their own and then we left.
We weren’t quite ready for the flight back to the cinema. We flew up to a random rooftop so that we could rest for a while and digest.
“There’s so much going on here in this city,” I said. “There are so many rules.”
“It just takes time,” said Joan. “It took me ages.”
“You’re not from here either?” I asked.
“Nope,” she said. “I was born somewhere a lot quieter.”
“Same with me,” I said.
A moment passed as we both sat quietly in the last glow of the afternoon.
“Can you tell me how you and Francois met now?” I asked. “And can you tell me how you ended up here?”
“It’s a long story,” she said.
“I don’t mind,” I said. “I would love to hear another lost pigeon’s story.”
There was a moment of hesitation.
“Ok,” she said finally. “I’ll tell you my story.”
Thank you kindly for reading and have a wonderful week!