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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A very short story about what could happen when someone least expects it, just because they were paying attention.

Submitted: February 07, 2017

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Submitted: February 07, 2017



The short and balding man, about 70 years old, comes to the park every day. They say that he talks to the pigeons, the sparrows, and any squirrel that cares to hang around to listen.

Rain or shine, I have seen him shuffling along the sidewalk from the senior center with a plastic bag in one hand and a Thermos-bottle in the other.

On occasion, as he passes the bench where I have my breakfast, I always try to ketch his eye with never any luck. And I always wish him a good morning.

He has never responded and I have sometimes thought that he is trying to be rude, you know, a grump. It is also possible that he is extremely focused, or he is off in La-la land somewhere. None-the-less, I say good morning and then I am off and on my merry-way. But today is different; I don't have to be at work for another hour, so I'm taking advantage of the extra time and just relaxing.

The walkway in this park curves around the man-made lake, so my vantage point is perfect for watching this man as he sits on his seemingly favorite bench.

This is a first for me sense I usually leave this park about the time he arrives. 

This morning he sat down and pored himself a cup of something from his Thermos, maybe tea.

He removed a small paper bag from the larger plastic bag and took a bagel from inside; I thought that it looked like cream-cheese on it.

I watched him sip his drink and chuckled as he pulled bits of the bagel off the bigger piece before eating them.

I thought to myself, "Maybe his teeth or dentures cannot stand the strain of biting off a hunk of bagel. Who Knows?"

After his bagel was finished he shook the crumbs from the paper bag, which caused a flutter of pigeons to surround his feet. Then he folded the bag neatly and after a little time it finally found its way into his pocket.

The pigeons grew impatient and started migrating to his legs, as if his legs were perches.

The old man scolded them very tenderly, noting that he could not open the plastic bag if they were in his lap.

Somehow the pigeons seemed to know what he was saying; they flew to the ground.

The old man opened the plastic bag again and out came a handful of various kinds of bread; all torn apart and divided into pop-corn sized parts.

"He must get the bread from the Senior Center kitchen," I thought to myself.

The old man gently tossed the bits of bread on the grass that is beside him and the birds race to be the first one's there.

This flurry of activity went on for as long as the man pulled bread from the bag, but as soon as it seemed to grow empty then the birds begin leaving. But they stayed within a bird-eye view.

Suddenly, the old man opened the bag again and reached inside. The pigeons were back in an instant and two landed on his legs.

In a flash, the old man scooped up one pigeon and into the bag it went!

I was still in shock as I watched this old man shuffle along the sidewalk, his Thermos in one hand and a bag of aggravated pigeon in the other.



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