A Big Chase in Central Park
Lew's just scavenged a scrumptious French fry in Central Park, but he's going to have to fight hard to keep the other pigeons away from it...
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Today's story follows the lost pigeon in New York City, Lew. He's just scavenged a scrumptious French fry in Central Park, but he's going to have to fight hard to keep the other pigeons away from it.
Here's a link to the previous part in Lew's story:
And here's a link to the first part:
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So there I was in the middle of the park with my beak locked onto the French fry. I could taste the salt and oil on the fry as it just faintly clipped the tip of my taste buds.
It's embarrassing to look back on now, but pigeon greed is a powerful thing. That French fry was everything to me in that moment. In the whole world, that French fry was the only thing that mattered.
The pigeon on the other end of the fry was older and bigger than me. They were a tough-looking bird and if I hadn't been possessed by pigeon greed I would have stayed out of their way at all costs.
We looked at each other as we each held onto the French fry, like two dancers who hated each other but were being made to perform together.
Francois was shouting at me, "Leave it, Lew! Let's go, come on!"
I glanced to the side and saw the family of humans on their way to take over the spot we were in.
I looked at the other pigeon again. They weren't budging. I wasn't going to let go and neither were they.
The family was getting closer. I had to make my move. Clenching my beak down hard on the fry, I charged at the other pigeon and took off into the air at the very last moment. I flew above them and they fell onto their back, the French fly slipping from their grip as they tumbled.
I kept my jaw locked tight as I flew away with the French fry. Francois took off after me and we both high-tailed it towards the trees. I looked back and the two birds that had been scavenging alongside us were coming after us. It wasn't over yet.
"Drop the fry!" said Francois urgently.
But I couldn't do it. My pigeon greed refused.
"Drop it!" he shouted.
He looked furious. It was the same way my mum and dad used to look at me when I did something that crossed the line. I saw Francois’ fury then turn to desperation. But the French fry remained.
We made it across the open area and got to the trees; that was where the indoor flight training with Francois really came in handy.
I followed Francois and tried to trace his flight path as he sliced through the air. We darted through the obstacle course of tree trunks and branches, squeezing through gaps that I had to tuck in my wings to make it through. We cut it so close I could feel the leaves tickle my wings.
I was trying to keep up with Francois, but he just kept pulling ahead. He didn’t even realise it. He was just so much faster than me.
As Francois pulled away, one of the other pigeons was getting right up close behind me.
They bit down on my foot and didn’t let go. I kept flapping my wings, trying to ignore the pain, doing everything I could to stay in the air.
Francois then suddenly dropped back to where I was. He lined up the pigeon behind me and then he barged into the side of them. They let go of my foot and were knocked to the side where a tree trunk was waiting for them.
The other pigeon behind us was calling out loudly, but not at us. They were calling out to someone else.
Suddenly, another pigeon flew in from the side and crashed into me. I was knocked off balance for a moment but managed to re-steady myself just in time to dodge an upcoming branch.
Straightening up, I could hear bird calls coming from all around us. I could make out blurry grey figures whizzing alongside us in the distance — more pigeons closing in.
An enormous pigeon sliced through the canopy above us and was following us from above. Suddenly, the giant pigeon dived down through the air and was going straight for Francois.
“Francois, watch out!”
But he didn’t hear me in time.
The big bird landed on Francois’ back and pushed him down towards the ground. The pigeon on Francois’ back was enormous and there was nothing Francois could do to shove him off. He was just a passenger now.
Instantly I dropped the French fry and dived down through the air.
I landed on the ground and the big pigeon was holding Francois down. Francois was squirming, but he wasn’t getting anywhere.
“Francois, you should know better than this,” said the pigeon holding him.
Just as I was about to charge in, one of the chasing pigeons landed behind me and knocked me to the ground. The big pigeon and Francois both turned to look at me.
“Here’s the one who wouldn’t give up the food,” said the one who pushed me.
“He’s new here,” said Francois.
I looked around as other pigeons landed, about half-a-dozen of them boxing us in.
“And what’s your name?” said the big pigeon with cruel joviality.
“Lew,” I said.
“Well, my name’s Mac,” he said. “Isn’t New York lovely?”
He was still holding Francois down. As Mac looked at me though, he tilted his head.
“Wait a second,” he said. “I remember you. You’re the one from the Statue of Liberty a week or so ago. No clue which way’s up and which way’s down.”
“I told you, he’s new,” said Francois. “He doesn’t know how it all works here yet.”
The pigeon who had been knocked into the tree now hobbled into the middle of the action. Their feathers were ruffled and they were holding one of their wings.
“He knocked me into a tree,” he said, nodding at Francois. “I think my wing’s broken.”
One of the other pigeons went over to help the injured pigeon.
“You broke his wing, Francois?” said Mac.
“They were chasing us,” said Francois.
“Because they wouldn’t hand over food,” said the pigeon with the broken wing.
“There’s enough food for everyone on a day like this,” said Francois.
“That may be true,” said Mac. “But we still eat first.”
“I took the food,” I said. “It’s my fault.”
“This all just got out of hand, Mac,” said Francois. “We’re sorry. We’re both sorry.”
The pigeon with the broken wing started getting worked up and so did some of the other pigeons that had shown up. I was frantically apologising to Mac as Francois tried explaining everything to him.
Mac wasn’t listening to any of it.
And then he made his decision…
Thanks for reading and have a tremendous week!