Pigeon Variations - Ch 52 - The Other Side
By Mark Burrow
Waves of heat shimmered in the scorching afternoon sun. A combine harvester kicked up thick swirling dirt clouds as the blades rotated. In the field opposite, several farmhands loaded a lorry with bales of hay.
As they worked, they heard a shrill scream. They scanned the fields to figure out where the agonised cry came from. One of them pulled out a pack of cigarettes and lit one. Another pointed to the treeline.
A pigeon fluttered its wings and ascended into the clear blue sky. It was a disappointment for them. They hoped to see a kestrel or a kite or an eagle.
Of course they did.
But no, it was a pigeon.
The farmhands smoked their cigarettes, shared a bottle of water, and went back to their labour.
The pigeon perched on the tree that arched across the single road cutting between the fields.
Because that’s what birds do.