Sunday, June 28, 2015

able to act

In the middle of a busy crosswalk a dying pigeon was shivering. Crossing the street with me: a young couple, a mother and child, an elderly man with a cane, and a strong Hispanic man/possibly a construction worker. The light was ready to change and a string of cars would cross right where the pigeon sat. We all looked right to left, at the cars ready to move, at each other, at the changed light, at the bird. A mild sense of panic and everyone except the strong man just stared. He scooped the bird up in his rough hands and carried it to the sidewalk, carefully placing it at the base of a street tree. Only one of us able to act at that moment. A huge lesson.

The photo is of a pigeon taken some months ago near the same intersection


  1. When you recount these stories of people acting with intent, I ask myself what I would have done. In this case, I definitely would have come up short. I would have been one of those frozen and dreading the inevitable. I would have been worried about touching a sick and dying bird, for one. I certainly wouldn't have shown it compassion as the man did. I know I'm a lesser person having to admit that. Your B&W photo is intriguing. The patterns and the shadow plus the bird itself make it an intriguing shot. Happy 4th, Duff.

  2. Duff, it's a very interesting photo and your story made me think. I'd also be one of those passive onlookers, unable to act, being afraid of touching the bird... Once my husband found a very unusual and quite a big bird in our garden that was lying on the ground not able to fly and he took the bird into the barn and called a birds rescue station to ask them how he could help it. I was just sooo afraid that the bird might be infectious... Obviously our reasons to stay passive may have their justification but are they the right choice? That's always the question.