Wednesday, 08 November 2000

On the way to work one day, I passed by a football field and saw the strangest sight. There were a bunch of geese and pigeons on the field. About 30 of each, geese on the left, pigeons on the right, facing each other. They seemed to be staring each other down, preparing for battle.

I began wondering…would the geese or the pigeons attack first? Probably the pigeons. Geese are too fat and wobbly to do anything that isn’t absolutely required.

Then I imagined the rallying cry of the geese. Their dignified strut would seem even more ominous accompanied by a chorus of honking and the thunderous beating of their wings.

The battle call for the pigeons, on the other hand, would consist of irritated squawking, flapping wings and jumping about. What they lack in noise would be made up with speed and agility.

What would geese and pigeons have to fight about? Were the pigeons upset because the geese left droppings all over the place, only to mistake them for food? Maybe the pigeons got there first and the geese are trying to move in. Who could blame the pigeons for defending their turf?

Maybe the geese were first to arrive. Later, the pigeons show up, thinking there must be something good if the geese are hanging around. Pigeons aren’t picky, and why should they let the geese hog it all?

Perhaps it was a conflict reminiscent of the frontier days, two factions arguing over the same plot of land. The kind of dispute that could only be settled with bloodshed.

You and I may not see the reason, but what is open land worth to a flock of birds? After being chased away from most every place else, a football field may be something they’re willing to die for.

On my way home I passed the field again. The pigeons and geese were gone without a trace. Where I expected to see the carnage of war, there was none. No war-torn bodies. No broken off wings. Not even a single ruffled feather.

It must have been important for them to have left without a fight.

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