Woke up way late this morning and took the train to work. Came home, changed, and headed to where the I'd left the pigeons. In my bag was a small wicker basket, a hammer, some nails, picture wire, trail mix, and hay.
I went to the spot where I'd left the birds. Not a sign of them. I checked under cars to make sure they weren't hiding; I looked under bushes. Nothing.
Turning back, I saw a young bird sitting under the bridge, in the same spot where the older bird had been sitting the night before. I suspected it had found its way back to where it had fallen, wanting to be near where it had fallen from. The other bird had vanished.
I looked at the bridge supports, which were hollow columns of metal open on each side. I decided to jam the basket high into this and put the bird in there. As I was looking, a man came by, saw the bird, and offered to help. The ground was caked with bird droppings, and the columns weren't to clean, either. Above us, a row of pigeons looked on silently.
I pulled myself up on the column and jammed the basket into the column, then the man and I managed to corral the bird by moving all around the sidewalk, following the flapping, dodging creature. I finally caught it and with it in one hand swung back up and put it in the basket, then added a handful of trail mix. The bird looked out, puzzled. But it stayed and for the time being was sort of safe. It looked like it would be flying within a few days.
The man, who had exhibited the kind of hungry fascination that I inspire in creepy men, asked me my name. I gave a false one. His name was William, and of course he shook my hand. I gave him some hand sanitizer, taking some myself, and explained he should sanitize his hands if he touched the bird. Then I thanked him for his help as I rapidly packed my bike bag and got my bike ready. He told me I was very pretty. I thanked him, said I had shopping to do, thanked him for his help with the bird, and got on my bike. He told me he'd check on it. I thanked him for his kindness, and made my getaway.