How Many Licks Does it Take to Get to the Center of Tootsie Pop?

Actually, I think today the more appropriate question is how many hours of class does it take for a bird to die?

I had to go to class at 9AM this Saturday morning. As I was walking through Charles River Park on my way to the red line (I was avoiding the other subway lines because of the Red Sox crowds). Anyway, in the middle of the “park” I saw a pigeon on the ground flapping his wings but unable to fly. It kept flapping harder and harder, making these loud thuds as the wings hit the concrete of the walkway. Although I hate pigeons, I was feeling sorry for it.*

I walked a few minutes further and took a corner to find yet another pigeon in the exact same predicament. It was the strangest thing. This one kept attempting to fly but would roll a bit onto his side. Nothing appeared bloody, torn or broken in either bird.

My thirst thought was terrorism. This is something I would have never thought 4 years ago…but we’re in a whole new world now. I just recall shortly after 9/11 there were reports of what to be on the watch for in terms of biological warfare. One of the things was suspicious deaths of birds and squirrels. It didn’t help that yesterday I saw a team of F-14’s (or some sort of military aircraft) flying over downtown Boston at low range (something you NEVER see around here). Plus with the anticipated 3-5 million people in the city today, I just couldn’t help but wonder if I should be more concerned about these two birds suffering simultaneously within a small area.

So, I went to class (which took 3 hours instead of 2). Then I went to my office to work on homework for an additional 2 hours (mostly to avoid heading inbound into Boston during the Red Sox parade).

I walked the same path back home and noticed that the second bird I saw was now dead at the side of the pathway in just about the exact same spot as I left it that morning. I nudged it over with my foot to see if there were any signs of injury but there was nothing noticeable.

A few minutes later I walked by the location of the first bird and found that it had somehow dragged itself onto some woodchips under a bush. It, too, was dead.

In conclusion, it apparently takes less than 5 hours of class for a bird to die.


*I hate seeing things suffer. I’ve blogged about this before but I can’t even kill bugs without guilt. I prefer somehow relocating them to a place (outside) where they can live free.

1 Comment(s)

  1. Comment by Dan on November 1, 2004 6:28 pm

    Maybe even birds can now die happy, with smiles on their beaks, with the Red Sox having finally won the World Series. I think I read that it was expected that some elderly birds were holding on to the hope that they would see a Sox victory in their lifetime. After that, they could die happy.

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