I'd noticed a couple of pigeons high on a tall arch (shown in the photo) earlier, then saw them sitting on the ground about three feet from me. I watched the birds, admiring their colorful feathers and bright watchful eyes, especially one that stayed near me while its companion wandered about pecking at the ground. I noticed it seemed to limp a little and then saw its left foot was terribly deformed, with barely one claw where there should be three and a strange painful looking lump at the base of the leg. The other foot had three very short claws and it was clearly difficult for the bird to get around.
As I wondered if this was a birth defect or terrible injury, the other bird came back and walked in a circle around the lame pigeon. I worried it was going to pick a fight, perhaps fearing I might drop food and it would miss out.
The two birds locked beaks and began moving about a little as if struggling, though not moving their bodies or feet. I wondered if this was a fight or mating ritual or what. Then the healthy bird stepped away and the lame bird ... swallowed. The healthy bird was feeding the other who struggled just to walk!
About this time my teenage daughter joined me on the bench. I showed her the birds and explained what I'd witnessed. We wondered if it would happen again, and sure enough it did.
If the wild creatures can care for each other like this, what's wrong with us? I used to feel like I did my share when I could, but I now know I can do more. I'm thankful to the pigeons for sharing a story of true love and caring today.
Be good to each other. Love one another. Right now.