Chapter One: The Pigeon

Last weekend I was taking my weekly vineyard hike through our Redwood Valley Ranch, and there on the ground was the most beautiful bird you could imagine! I said, “What is that?” And my puppy Pistol rushed toward him and I told the dog to stop, so I could get a little closer. A pigeon?

I’ve never seen a pigeon so black and shiny, with white tips on its wings and this amazing white head. It was so perfectly manicured, I couldn’t believe it. The dog went after it again and it started to fly, but only made it up to a low branch, about five feet up, just enough so the dog couldn’t reach him.

I kept saying, “Wow, what is it?” Now my face was about 12 inches from the bird and it just sat there and looked into my eyes. I could see it had a little band on its foot. That’s when I knew it was somebody’s special bird.

That poor creature was clearly weak and tired and probably hadn’t eaten or had water in quite some time. I reached out with my hand to see if he would step onto my finger. He flapped his wings but he was too frail to fly. I put my hand gently around his chest and with my other hand on top of him, I picked him up. I started stroking his tiny head and he began to relax against my hand. 

I asked the guy I was with if he could take him home, since he lives in the area, but he said he couldn’t have a bird in his house. And my wife Amy looked at me and said, “You’re not going to do it!”

This was obviously someone’s bird- probably a show bird. I couldn’t leave him out there to die.

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