Some are weak, he said. Not like the old man down the street who is physically weak, too feeble to carry his own simple groceries any longer, but weak in mind and spirit. And though the old man moves at a pace for a snail, he is more admirable than the mentally weak man because the body often atrophies quicker than the mind.
The weak-minded atrophy at an early age, through misuse and poor handling, and, he added in secret, brain cells do not rejuvenate. We must be disdainful of the weak minds, he said, as if it were contagious.
This is one of many opinions I heard from the man on the corner stop. I, just a simple street pigeon, grey in color with white specks (quite beautiful, some say), came to his acquaintance only after many months of annoyance: he gladly ravaged up pieces of bread, torn from silly American tourists’ baguettes, for his own mouth.
Thank goodness he was not like the man before him, who licked his finger moist and picked up all leftover crumbs like a sponge: we nearly starved. Even the crumbs in the dirt between the cobblestones! That was the tragic spring that we never mention, for it brings back bad memories of shameful and drastic measures.
It’s a natural to be offended at the overriding and widespread assumption that pigeons are stupid, lazy, and fat. All young, adolescent pigeons go through a period of anarchy and physical dissent, usually characterized by shitting everywhere they sit. Trees, people– even Renaissance-period cathedrals—it doesn’t matter.
As a whole, we’ve accepted man’s low expectations and negative impressions by casting this stereotype off as an unfortunate misunderstanding due to the lack of human brain cell regeneration.
I was not sure of the corner man’s diatribe about weakness and brain cells. We believe we are the incarnations of clouds, crying rain in longing to reach Earth. Once on Earth, we fly upwards, in an attempt to reach the sky we miss—a lovely cyclical creation myth.
Because we are incarnates, our sole tenet is that our souls and minds pass to our worldly pigeon bodies. The idea that cells were unable to go through rejuvenation was absolutely repulsive.