A one-legged pigeon lives on my street. There is a tiny pink stump where the second leg should be.
I often wonder how a pigeon loses a leg. It seems like a pigeon should be entirely whole or entirely dead. It's not as if a pigeon can tentatively stick a foot onto the highway and have it run over without deadly collateral damage. I haven't seen any raptors that might swoop down and snatch a pigeon by the toe. And even if there were iron-jawed pigeon traps, could a pigeon really chew through its own leg with that dull beak in order to free itself?
It has a pronounced hop instead of a waddle, but is just as fat as the others.
This week, there was an entirely dead pigeon outside the front door of my building. It had two legs.
There were no marks. No cloud of feathers. No lolling silver tongue hanging out of triangular beak. It did not appear aged or lacking in Vitamin D. It was just a supine bird, its little feet pointing towards the sky.
It couldn't have been poisoned, because all the others were fine. Thankfully, there were no others recently demised because I have no desire to live through a slightly altered version of The Plague.
A dog would have left chew marks.
A bullet would have left blood.
I can only conclude it was a head-on collision. Cerebral hemorrhage. Coma. Death. See, some brat had sprayed ketchup or catsup on the wall of the building. Great viscous gobs.
The pigeon in question must have been hungry.