Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Fwup, the Deranged Pigeon
"Oh, that's entirely too blue." My husband said, looking into the huge master bedroom. "What could they have been thinking?"
"That they wanted a shade somewhere between powder blue, and a manly navy?" Emptied of all furniture the room looked vast, and as if we'd awake in the night and assault each other with baby powder. "That's gonna have to go."
That was the case with many of the colors in this house. Where it wasn't the beige of ubiquity, found in nearly every office in the land, the house was painted colors that looked as if someone had been trying, and trying hard, but suffered from some peculiar form of color blindness. The Sage in the family room had landed somewhere between Sage and Pea Soup, the bright blue looked oddly as if had been bruised, and the lighter blue looked more like a color a psychologist might choose for an institutional activities room. Sedative Azure, maybe.
So we set about painting it. Who knows if our colors are actually better, or more tasteful, mainly they are just the colors we have chosen, as we slowly paint the former owners from the house. We went with a shade called Walton Cream, and did a candlelight over glaze, very lovely. Extremely time consuming, particularly given that we found out the former owners had a dog with a wetting problem, and they had been none too fond of cleaning up after it. We had the carpet shampooed three different times. I finally forced my husband to quit sniffing the carpet with promises of replacing it. But it was one of the things that kept us in the guest room.
It was thanks to the dog that we got to know the pigeons. We moved our bedroom furniture into the bright blue room, the one with the bruised green underlay. As I heaved up the window there came the same sound:
FWUP FWUP FWUP FWUP FWUP
I have excellent survival skills. I hit the deck like a member of the bomb squad, elegantly squawking, "What the hell was that??" It was loud enough that I thought perhaps something inside of my actual brain had been making the sound.
"A bird??" My husband asked, staring around almost wildly.
FWUP FWUP FWUP FWUP FWUP
"What the...is it invisible?? Do we have a ghost bird??" I said peering up, and through the window. Hovering impressively in the air, three inches from my face was a Pigeon, not just any pigeon either, a decidedly put out pigeon. "Good lord!" I resumed my duck and cover as I heard the sash of the window crash down above my head. My husband had braved the ill tempered bird.
There was no screen in that window, I hadn't noticed before opening it. The Pigeon and I had been doing an eye tango with nothing but air separating us.
"Is he deranged? The hell, why did he just stay there?"
Then we heard the cooing. The whole side of the house echoed with nonstop cooing. I peered out the window. Fwup was still there, perched on the neighbor's drainpipe, staring at me, cooing in an agitated manner.
"Oh, crap. It's a nest." Not on the neighbor's house, on ours. We went outside and gazed morosely upwards, a nesting pigeon and her mate, Fwup sent us scurrying back inside. I had no idea pigeons were attack birds.
We conferred. The house echoed with coos. We decided that rather than trying to roust the beings, we would wait for their eggs to hatch, and the clutch to be sent forth in the world. In the meantime we thought the cooing rather pleasant, all things considered.
That was nearly a month ago, back when we were sane. For one thing, we realized we don't know much about the mating life of pigeons. We just assumed they were like the Robins that used to nest on our old house, that they would hatch their young and move on. We have begun to doubt that.
"Hey, what you are up to?" My friend asked after I answered the phone.
"Just unpacking and..." I was interrupted by the Echo of Coos. "Gah, hold on, let me get out of the aviary over here."
"They're still there??" She asked in dismay.
"Yup, we're still City Chicken Central."
"Aren't you going to get rid of them?"
For the time that it took to repaint the bedroom, we had awoken nightly to the sound of Fwup, taking exception to some sort of disturbance with his bird brain, cooing up a storm, fluttering like a fiend.
"I don't know. There's always winter." I said vaguely.
"I thought he was driving you crazy?" There was an amused tone in her voice.
"Well, yes but..."
"Uh huh." She laughed mercilessly.
"They'll kill them. There aren't any services willing to relocate them, but we can basically have them exterminated." I said glumly.
"Oh." She hissed in a breath between her teeth, seeing my problem. "Well, you know...huh."
"I know, and we've gotten sort of used to him." The cooing echoed throughout the house.
"You mean you're a wuss and you don't want to condemn him to die?"
I blatantly ignored the question of my courage. "I think his mate left him."
"Yes, unfortunately he spends most of his time trying to call her back, I think. She comes and goes, he stays and stays."
"Aw. He's lonely. Why don't you go out and talk to him?" She decided to take mercy on me. "So, how do you like the pool?"
I enthused about it for a few minutes.
"And how does Fwup like it?" She asked slyly.