I am reading A Pigeon and a Boy, an Israeli novel by Meir Shalev. Although I’m really enjoying it so far, I don’t like to recommend a book until I’ve read through to the last page, so stay tuned.
In addition to getting wrapped up in the book’s interwoven stories from two time periods, I’m also learning quite a lot about pigeons.
In 1574, Leiden was under siege and ready to surrender when a pigeon brought news that help was near. “And during the campaign against Fort Souville at Verdun, who was it that succeeded in taking off above the clouds of poison gas … and transporting a message to the front? Only a French homing pigeon. …
“A Canadian homing pigeon named Sunbeam rescued fishermen whose boat had nearly capsized in the frozen waters off Newfoundland.”
Homing pigeons are not the pigeons you normally see (real name of city pigeons: Rock Doves). Though Rock Doves are an urban scourge, they are often beloved of small children. I’m told I was fascinated with chasing them as a toddler. And when Suzanne went to the big city at age 2, the sight of a pigeon caused her to break into this song from a favorite cartoon show: