Explaining the Title

To Kick a Pigeon.  This phrase came to me in a brief moment as I was walking through Central Park with my husband back in 1999.  It was my first trip to NYC, and I instantly fell in love with the city.  While meandering through the park trying to find the place where we could take a horse-drawn carriage ride, I saw a bunch of pigeons and instantly wondered, “Are they really as stupid as they look, so much that I could just walk up to one and kick it?”  Not drop-kick it or anything like that, more like just give it a gentle nudge with my foot.

I freely admit I know just about nothing regarding pigeons.  They may be the most intelligent bird on the planet, but I don’t know, and honestly, I don’t care.  I know many breeds have incredible homing skills.  I also know the mess they make and have been personally doo-doo’ed on by one in the past (on a walk through the Historic King William district in San Antonio.)  That’s the extent of my knowledge base on pigeons.  Oh, and they stink, especially en masse. 

For those of you who know me, I love animals and I do not condone animal cruelty in any manner, but the thought of whether or not I could kick a pigeon has plagued me for over a decade.

I think back to the many places I have had the privilege to visit over the years, and I always remember the specific locations where I’ve run into flocks of pigeons:

  • Central Park in New York City
  • Trafalgar Square in London
  • Charles Bridge in Prague
  • The Pantheon in Rome
  • Tiananmen Square in Beijing
  • The Opera House in Sydney
  • La Plaza de Armas in Lima

I always think the same thing:  “Who is watching me?  Would anyone care?  Would I get in trouble?  Could I kick one?”

Of course, I never will. 

At least a decade ago, I remember having a discussion with a friend about what titles we would choose should we ever write autobiographies for our lives.  (Side note:  I am in serious denial that I am old enough to refer to past events in my life as having occurred “decades” ago.)  Anyway, my title came to me instantly:  “To Kick a Pigeon and Life’s Other Regrets.”  Not that I regret much of anything in the life I have lived, it just seemed like a good title that might sell a few dozen books.

So then, this blog will bear that title and honor the memory of the autobiography I will never write.

Love and prayers,


13 responses

8 09 2011

I feel like pigeons are secretly smart.

13 09 2011

having lived in barcelona, where it seems a good half, if not more, of the world’s pigeon population also reside, i can honestly tell you that no one would mind. and i’ve thought that too. (side note: people let their children feed them from their own mouths.) also, i always found it interesting that in spanish, they have one word for both “pigeon” and “dove” – paloma. and that’s all the pigeon-based information i have at this point. great blog and fantastic title.

13 09 2011

I’m so glad you shared this! I’ve never been to Barcelona, but it’s on my wish list. I can’t imagine feeding a pigeon from my mouth.

12 12 2011

That’s so interesting that you would think of kicking a pigeon, when (according to the internet) it’s impossible. hm. This is a pathetic last comment..oh well..

9 08 2013

I know you mentioned you don’t care if pigeons are intelligent and so forth, but if you’re interested in learning a few things about them, this document (link below) is pretty good overview. I’m a former wildlife rehabilitator and sadly, I see far too many pigeons injured because people don’t care — or do, in fact, do malicious things like kicking them. Pigeons are harmed in pretty brutal ways by people — and they are a super intelligent, sensitive species. They are, in fact, one of our more intelligent bird species. Because of these misconceptions, I like to spread a little love for these birds who have served humankind many times over the centuries, in times of war and in early days where pigeons were primary airmail communication.

9 08 2013

Thanks for sharing! I did learn something new about pigeons. 🙂

9 08 2013

Thanks for replying. 🙂

(btw, I found your blog while doing a specific Google/pigeon search. I’ve been enjoying the read!)

9 08 2013

Glad you are enjoying the blog. Comment away!

21 08 2013

This post = perfection = happiness…..well done. Well done.

21 08 2013

Thanks Maggie. 🙂

22 08 2013

I don’t even know the way I stopped up right here, but I thought this post to be good. I do not recognize who you are however certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already.


26 08 2013

I do love your title! (In joking matter of course) About 7 years ago, a robin made a nest for her eggs on my parents window sill, but she abandoned them and the eggs were taken by other animals. This nest was later inhabited by pigeons! And yes, that nest was way too small for a family of pigeons but it worked well enough for two families to use it. I had the privilege of watching the eggs hatch and the baby birds grow up until they flew away. No, I did not have an emotional attachment to the birds mainly because they were very loud next to the window but I did find it quite interesting to see them living on my house, literally.

26 08 2013

What a cool experience. We have two families of birds, I don’t know what kind, who nest on our front porch every spring. They make a huge mess, but it’s really fun to watch them “grow up.”

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