The Pigeon by Eona Macnicol

The Pigeon by Eona Macnicol

Strong people can easily take care of themselves. They are able to solve their own problems, and a little bit more – to help loved ones, and just people who need it. This is one of the nice possibilities of a really strong person. But what can the weak people do? What if it is a child, a sick person or an animal? And if it’s just a small bird? Jan found this bird at the window of his bedroom, on a small ledge outside. The pigeon was wounded. It could not fly and clearly had to die. Ella offered Jan to give the bird to a person who had her own dovecote, but Jan refused. This is his bird and he must take care of it by himself. Ella did not understand him, but agreed. The pigeon felt worse than a week ago. Earlier it tried to fly, but now it was just lying without moving. But Jan was not going to change his mind.

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The Pigeon by Eona Macnicol

The strong can take care of themselves. But what about the weak? What happens to a child, a young animal, a sick bird, when there is no one to take care of them?

Jan has found a sick bird, a pigeon. It cannot fly and is very weak. It will probably die, but Jan has a deep and terrible need to take care of it…

Ella was dressing in the bathroom. She couldn’t get dressed in the sitting room while there were people around. And she couldn’t use their bedroom because her son Robert and his family were sleeping in there. She called out to Jan.

‘Can you find my best pink blouse, Jan?’

Jan went to the door of the bedroom. The door was open a little, and he looked through at all the clothes on the floor, on the chairs, bed, everywhere. Robert and Moira and their children were not tidy people. Jan wondered if he and Ella would ever get the house tidy again. He didn’t want to go in and ask for Ella’s blouse, but Ella called again.

‘Jan! Are you bringing me the blouse?’

The Pigeon by Eona Macnicol

So he said quietly through the door, ‘Please, Robert. Please pass me your mother’s pink blouse.’

Robert said OK, opened the wardrobe door (which woke the baby), found the blouse and brought it across to Jan.

Jan took the blouse to Ella, who said, ‘Oh, thanks dear!’ in her warm, friendly voice, and he felt good.

Ella went on singing in the bathroom. She was very happy, with Robert and Moira and the two little ones in the house. Jan was happy for her. It was good that she had children of her own. He need not feel that he had disappointed her.

She came out of the bathroom in her bright party clothes. A big, good-looking, motherly woman. He looked at her with love, and she smiled back at him.

Then she cried, ‘Hurry up, Jan! Get dressed. It’s time. It’s New Year’s Eve. We’re going out first-footing.’

He shook his head.

She cried, ‘Why not? You came with me last year. And you enjoyed it. Don’t you remember? You danced with me, and Moira taught you to rock-and-roll.’

‘This year I will stay in,’ said Jan.

He went into the kitchen, and from there into the scullery. The pigeon lay in a basket on a soft blanket. He thought at first that it looked better. Its eyes were open at least, round eyes like the centre of flowers. He looked at the little bowl of milk, and imagined that the pigeon had taken some…

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