Blueboy The Pigeon

My grandmother loved her critters. She shepherded about five-hundred chickens on her farm in Santa Anna, Texas. A scroungy stray cat or dog would show up, and she would feed it and give it a place in the smokehouse to stay. They usually were soon gone, thanks to Coyotes and Bobcats, but she wouldn’t let them go hungry.

She couldn’t place the day, month, or year the pigeon showed up. It flew down from a bright blue sky and commenced pecking at the chicken feed my granny had thrown on the ground for her hens. It was a beautiful bird, blue-grey with white markings; she called it Blueboy, not knowing if it was male or female, so to her, it was a boy pigeon.

Blueboy took a liking to granny and followed her around the farm while she did her daily chores. He would walk a few feet behind her, even when she was in the barn or the smokehouse. He would perch on the front porch railing if she was sitting outside. He became her pet. After a while, she could reach down and pick him up, which for a wild pigeon, was something to see. She carried him around like a pet chicken and would feed him in his own dish by the giant oak tree that shaded their farmhouse. Blueboy slept in that tree most nights, but in the cold winter, she would crack the smokehouse door, so he could roost inside out of the weather. She and that pigeon understood each other. Farm people know critters and how to communicate with them. It’s a natural talent you are born with. The bird thought he was a dog, and she treated him as such.

Blueboy started following the cousins and me around the farm. Always a ways behind us, curious about what we were up to. We could never touch him or get too close; only granny had that honor. He was always there for years when I visited the farm in the summer and at Christmas or Easter. I guess that pigeon was a big part of the family as the grandchildren.

Just as he had shown up one day, he was gone. Granny figured he or she had met another pigeon and started a family, or at least that is what she told us. Years later, she said she found some of his feathers by the barn. Probably a Bobcat got him while he was strutting around instead of sitting in his tree. She never got over losing Blueboy and talked about him often in her old age. I saw a pigeon a few days ago, and it took me back there.

13 Replies to “Blueboy The Pigeon”

  1. Your grandmother sounds as Earthy as my maternal grandmother. She ran a commercial chicken farm long before I showed up and her father had been a tobacco farmer during the Great Depression. She always loved FDR for helping return her dad’s farm to him.

    On US Highway 70, people were forever dropping cats off. It was very rural in her area back then and city folk would get rid of stray cats by throwing them out of moving cars. Cruel practice but, I always had cats to play with as a child. She kept a dog & a Cockatiel in the house. She cared for everything…her kids, her grandkids (mostly raising me), stray cats, her previous chickens, her little dogs, two caged birds and she could grow anything, cook anything, sew anything… I know what squirrel tastes like. It’s hard to lose a pet, tame or wild.

    My supervisor in TX (I may have mentioned this…) had a ranch in Clyde. He sent me many shots of Bobcats, roaming his ranch…wild turkeys, Roadrunners… I did a set of tribute posts on him & his work:


  2. We had a pigeon that we allowed in the house. He liked to perch on my arm, and I could take him around. I could feed him with birdseed in a plastic tumbler. If I went outside, he would come perch on me. Unfortunately, over time, the pigeon population grew to where I’d have pigeons at my feet, on my knees, on my head… And then the neighbors bought cats…


    1. Granny could carry him like a cat,or a pet chicken, but no one else could get too close. The two of them had a communication, or as they now call it, a mind meld. My grandfather, though he liked the bird, would not allow it in the house, the front porch was the limit.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. In her last years, when her mind was mostly gone, she could still recall Blueboy and his devotion, as well as hers to him. The chickens came and went, but the pigeon made a life impact on her. Perhaps if he had been more of a bird taking flight instead of walking, he would have made it a few more years.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. That is so cool…I had an uncle who had a squirrel eat out of his hand every day at his house. I tried and tried but that damn thing would not come to me. Some people like your grandmother has that special thing with wild animals that I wish I had.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She had the same relations with chickens, dogs and cats and for a short while a crow. I had a squirrel that lived in the loak tree that hung over our patio. I would leave peanuts for her along the low large branch. After a year, she would take one or two from my fingers and then climb the tree to eat it. She eventually lost her timidness and came to the back door, paws on the glass looking inside, expecting me to give her a nut, of course I always did. She trained me well. She bit me only once,

      Liked by 2 people

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