One-Legged Pigeons, the Lot of Us

That's what I saw on the walk from the subway to work this morning. He flew down in front of me and landed, making a slight adjustment for his weight in order to make his standing pose more like a flamingo and less like a


commercial. I wondered, How can a pigeon lose just the one leg? Then I wondered at why I hadn't seen one before. I mean, it must be treacherous to live the life of a pigeon. They are the punk rockers of the bird world. I'm rather amazed that they don't get plastered by vehicles more often, much less have their legs amputated by animals, freak mishaps and, uh...freak animals.

I got nuthin'.

Anyway, it's nice and strange for me to be frantically trying to take advantage of the six-months healthcare this week and encounter a one-legged pigeon trying to cross the road. (Obviously the little guy has insurance through an HMO, if at all.) I feel a ken between myself and the winged rat. Fortunately, it's not because I'm on an HMO plan (because this time, I'm not). Rather it is because I have been feeling my age of late (my older friends are going to KILL me if they read this) with regards to my health. I now need to adjust how I accomplish spectacular feats, owing to persistent injuries like my sprained wrist and shoulder, or my chemical epididymitis (see


). This bird is losing a little bit of his sense of immortality.

My hope is that this new sense refines and improves my work--makes it more precise and efficient. Some days it's easier to keep this hope in mind than others, of course. It is so easy to allow a hardship to suck hope out of me. I'll never understand that reaction, but I experience it over and over again. It may just be me. Perhaps others are much better equiped, and their hope quotient goes up (to a point) as their hardships increase.

Me, I need the occasional gimpy pigeon to lend a little perspective.