Chasing Pigeons into a Wilder World


“Rat bird” my coworker spits out. 

We are looking at a gray pigeon who is getting cozy on a little patch of window sill. 

“Why ratbird?” I ask her. It is the first time I have heard the phrase. 

She looks at me incredulously. “Because they are disgusting. I found a group of them eating vomit a while back.” She scowls, repeating herself for emphasis: “Disgusting creatures.”  

All I could think was, Hey, they were getting rid of the vomit.

Unlike some of my fellow Chicagoans,…


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