I was on the way home from the seminar I am currently going to, just like always.
Since it was an incredibly cold day, being the first for this year that had frosty minus degrees, the bone-chilling air enveloped my whole face and all I wanted to do is to get to the bus station as quickly as possible, so I could go back to the nice, hot radiator awaiting me in my apartment.
As I crossed the church square, I noticed an about 50 yeard-old lady standing around, next to her on the floor a little pidgeon that seemed to be desperately flapping with its wings, however without getting anywhere. It looked like the poor thing was awfully out of balance, which led me to believe that it must have had broken wings; possibly even some fractured feet.
Since I had a bus to catch, I kept walking a few more meters until I stopped shortly before the street I usually needed to cross, to get through the pedestrian mall full of shops that lead to the station. I turned around and looked at the woman as well as the bird.
For a moment I observed the surrounding and my eyes followed all the people who would just walk past the two; either not noticing a single thing or simply just pointing fingers and laughing (usually followed by some stupid remark).
As my face started to look less and less “sharp” and focussed, I slowly walked towards her, literally feeling how my expression turned into a more kind-hearted, soft, warm one.
“Watch out where you step”, she said; even though there was no need to. I had already seen and understood what was going on and so I asked her if the two are okay. She told me that she had called somebody who will come and take care of the little injured bird; proceeding to let me know how many people had already passed either not caring at all or – even worse – almost squishing the little guy. Unsurprised but still with a form of “disbelief” I shook my head and gave her a somewhat sad look.
In the back of my head I started to ponder about the sad behaviour people exhibited when it came to such things.
I have been observing, studying and researching people all my life and as much as I love to love people and concentrate on the good and positive in life; I still know just how selfish and uncaring our species is when it comes to other living beings, that I have yet to see in any of our animal buddies.
We humans tend to think just how much better we are than – especially – smaller (or “weaker”) creatures. In the pidgeon’s case, our perception is, that they don’t have any (good) use for us at all and that all they do is to carry diseases and unhygienic conditions with them, much like rats or other small rodents. As much as that may be true, it is by no means a valid or even good reason to just walk past the suffering those little souls have to endure, for we all live on and share the same planet and especially in such cases, who is going to help that bird? They don’t have any hospitals within their community and it’s not like any of their friends will come, pick it up and then cure it; so it is (or should be) our responsibility as fellow living beings to help them out, even when it has no visible advantage for us at all AND even though we might end up missing our bus or come too late to work.
I know that there are a lot of people who keep arguing about whether animals even have a soul (I believe they do, personally), but be it as it may, it is a living being and if it were you laying there on the pavement; desperately flapping and flailing with your arms without being able to get anywhere and basically having no choice but to die…you would be glad for any help you’d get.
We are not better than our animal friends and we also do not have any more of a right to be here than they do. We’re all equal despite our genders, races, species, size or whatever; so we should absolutely take care of each other and help.
It was about 15mins of me standing there, as a car from the local animal shelter stopped on the side of the piazza. A young woman jumped out of the van, went in the back and got a little plastic carrier as well as a tiny blanket out of the trunk. She sprinted over, exchanged a few words with the lady who had been standing there in the cold for god knows how long, picked the pidgeon up to carefully store it in the box, shook the woman’s hand and thanked her for calling. As the nurse left, the kind-hearted lady made sure to tell me just how much better her heart felt now and then proceeded to thank me for staying with her. I smiled, nodded barely visible and turned around to go down the road to the bus station.
I still caught my bus.