1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

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Bye, Bye Birdie

Using potty humor, Birdie successfully entertained the boys in my fifth grade class. He quickly joined snapping turtles, worms, crayfish, and sea monkeys on my bad pet list.

Before Dad bulldozed it down, an old ice house stood on the far side of our milk-house. Instead of huge blocks of ice, it housed a giant flock of pigeons. Their messy nests sat on a high ledge just below the roof line, out of reach.

“Hey, Dad, do you have a long ladder I can borrow?”

Dad used his parental intuition and refused my request.

The straw-covered dirt floor of the ice house poked through layers of pigeon poop. Around the perimeter, sad skeletons of kamikaze pigeon babies formed a pathetic ring.

Baby pigeons don't fly, they plummet. www.spacepeanutproductions.blogspot.com

Baby pigeons don’t fly, they plummet.

David got a BB gun on Christmas and shot it into an abandoned nest. He quickly discovered the nest wasn’t abandoned. A baby pigeon jumped into the air, squeaked, and fell dead by his feet. The BB shot its eye out.

“Murderer,” I screamed. “You’re going to go to hell! You’re a black-hearted murderer!”

I needlessly made David feel horrible. He never intentionally hurt anyone or anything, and was already consumed with remorse.

That spring, an older pigeon baby fluttered somewhat gently to the ground. I scooped up my new pet. A large cardboard box became Birdie’s temporary home. As fifth graders, we’d outgrown show-and-tell time years ago. But several classmates brought visiting pets earlier in the year, so I brought Birdie.

Birdie was not as pretty or clean. www.funbaz.com

Birdie was not as pretty or clean.

Mid-morning, Mrs. Bennett closed her social studies book and said, “Mary, please show the class what you brought today.”

I picked Birdie up like a small plump falcon and perched him in my right hand. My left hand kept him from jumping free. The reactions of my classmates pleased me, but not for long.

My pleasure fluttered away as Birdie’s gray and white poop dribbled down my arm. The girls didn’t want to pet him anymore. The boys hooted and laughed. Mrs. Bennett brought me a wad of brown paper towels.

As soon as Dad got home, he climbed a ladder and we returned Birdie to his nest. No longer weighed down by a pound of poop, Birdie should have been able to fly up to his ledge.

Birdie briefly peered over the low nest edge with his beady bird eyes, turned around, and squeezed out another spit of spite.

Lesson learned: A bird in the hand is not always worth two in the bush.

Related Posts: Pandemonium Trail/Turtle Thief; Pandemonium Trail/Squishy Foot and Monkeys

Now it’s your turn: Has a pet ever pooped on you?

© Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures, 2012 forward. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. Donna Ingalls says:

    Pet-poop would not be as bad as what I experienced. Many years ago, when I lived in San Diego, I frequently spent the day with my kids at the San Diego Zoo. One day, right after we arrived, a huge sea gull was obviously not happy to see me, and as it flew overhead, it dropped a HUGE load of poop on my head! The worst part of that, though, was that it didn’t just stay on my head — it immediately began to run down my head, left side of my face, my shoulder and arm. This was the most disgusting thing you can imagine! There we were just starting our day at the zoo, and I stank like a sewer! The smell was so bad, it nearly made me puke. I had to find a bathroom and try to wash off as much as I could. Needless to say, my day was not great…

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Oh, Donna, I love this story. And sea gulls eat fish, which stinks even worse than normal bird poop. David got hit by a sea gull once, but only on his leg. I’m sure your kids didn’t laugh then … or now over your unique facial. Did it make your hair or skin soft?

  2. Mimmy Jain says:

    In India, it’s considered lucky if a bird craps on you. For what that’s worth…

  3. Robin Shaw says:

    Keep it coming. Great story!

  4. C. Suresh says:

    Hahaha! A bird in hand is a scream and a riot when you get done with it here 🙂

  5. spunkybong says:

    I’m stringing pearls, reading your episodes, Mary. 🙂

  6. kriskkaria says:

    The podcast is up, http://kriskkaria.podbean.com/. Thanks so much for letting me narrate your funny story!

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