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