Thursday, May 1, 2008


I was going to plant some pansies in our front landscaping when I spotted something moving by the bushes. It moved again and I screamed, but once I calmed down I saw that it was a white bird walking around in the mulch. It was right by me and was acting like it didn't notice me at all. It didn't look sick or hurt, but it wasn't flying away when I moved toward it like all the other birds do around here. I called into the house for my family to come out and look. We talked about what kind of bird it might be.

"A dove?" I asked. It kind of reminded me of the kind of bird that magicians use.

"No, too big and it has some gray stripes on it's wings."

"Is it a seagull?"

"No, wrong beak and too small."

"Wait, I know what that is, it's a pigeon!"

We looked closer to see if it had a band on it's leg but nothing. It didn't look like the kind of pigeon you see in the city, it looked cleaner and brighter than them. We weren't sure what to make of the thing but it kind of hung around for a couple of days, sometimes flying away but then coming back to sit on our roof or windowsill, and peek in.

When I went outside to pull weeds it tottered around in the mulch right by me, and I talked to it. I named it "Whitey" and kept saying the name so he would learn it. I had this vision of it becoming our outdoor pet, kind of like a mascot. We could tell people, "We're the house with the white bird on it!" when they ask for directions.

When I went to the backyard Whitey flew over the roof and met me there. He went into the garage for a while, and even tried to fly into Larry's van. He would let us get very close to him but if we reached out to try to touch he would just shuffle away a bit, as in: "oh was I in your way? Is this better?"

We got out our bird book and tried to find out what he might be. There is something called "Rock Dove" but I think he might have been a racing pigeon or something that they let out for weddings, or someones pet.

It was just the weirdest thing, and I kind of felt like it was some kind of strange sign. Is there some symbolism behind a pigeon, or a dove, or the color white? Something about peace, or messages? What could it be? It would reveal itself to us over time, I decided.

Well yesterday when I came home from work a little early before picking up Jeff, I spotted some stuff on the lawn. When I got closer I saw that it was white feathers. Kind of a lot of them, big ones and small ones. Oh, no. The neighbor's cat? (The vampires next door let their black cat roam around outside. Missy was safely locked in the house like always.) Maybe a hawk? When the boys got home and saw this it made them sad. Jeffrey was encouraged by the lack of any blood or bones at the crime scene. We're still half hoping that a partially naked white bird is out there somewhere, but it's been a day now and we haven't seen him.

So I'm backing off on the "it's a sign" idea because what I originally thought might be a message of peace, or hope, now seems to symbolize something like: if you are pretty and gentle and friendly then you will be targeted for an attack. Dang. Sometimes Nature isn't very nice at all.


Whitey lives! He has been spotted around the subdivision. He can fly just fine and you can't even tell he's missing all those feathers. My faith in goodness and hope has been restored. Life can go on happy as before.

Whitey likes to come into our garage and have a look around. Here he is with someone (Missy!) looking back at him from inside the house.

Okay, one more Whitey story. I was going to go to the store, and as I got my keys I could hear Larry in the garage shouting and clapping his hands. I came out, and he was trying to shoo Whitey out. I told him we should be nice to Whitey but I did need to get in the car so he did the clapping/shouting thing and Whitey flew out and over the driveway....then did a U-turn and landed on top of my car. So I got in. I could see him up there through the sunroof. I pulled the car down the driveway with Whitey perched up there like some kind of crazy ornament. He stayed until I started to go down the street, when he took off and flew straight back into the garage, and looked up at Larry.


kid_curry said...

We saw Whitey land on your roof while eating dinner the other night. We all had a great time trying to figure out where he/she had come from. The general consensus was most definitely the circus. *<:0)

Anonymous said...

Hi, MIndy- From the first paragraph about Whitey, I am sorry to say that I thought about the funerals that I have been to where a white dove is released free in the cemetery. Supposedly white pidgeons are used also, and fly away so fast that people only see a white bird. And there are sad stories about what happens to these white newcomers in their new bird world, so wish that the practice doesn't continue. I vote for it being from a circus- in fact, the Ringling Bros. circus was at the State Fairgrounds just a week or so ago. Aunt Chris

Heather Leigh said...

Amy has a picture of Whitey on top of someone's house (the Bushes, maybe?) If she hasn't sent it to you yet, ask her for it. She took the picture AFTER we thought he'd been eaten. If you learn to speak bird-ese, the next time you see Whitey, warn him that not all cats are on the other side of the door. Some pussycats roam free in our sub. (Yes, I still call it "our" sub and I think I always will!)