Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Memphis Is For The Birds

(and of course the Squirrels too!)

This post was inspired by Tink, that's right, the director of our
Weekly Words Challenge. We have a blast and if you haven't joined the fun, go here for details!

Tink asked me on a comment yesterday how I got so close to the squirrel that was in my photo. Well, it's simple. The squirrels and the pigeons of Downtown Memphis are the tamest I've seen anywhere. I have proof in my story and photos below.

The reason they are so tame, I guess, is that they are so used to people and being fed by all the visitors and the locals (including probably the homeless people), that they are not afraid of anything! Seriously.

For instance, here is a squirrel I stopped to feed once. (Squirrel food Courtesy of Memphis' own Peanut Shoppe, if you're in Memphis you gotta go there, they have the best nuts in town!!)

Here's a good story to illustrate my point.

One day I was having a relaxing stroll down Main Street around lunch time. The weather was fine, and the street was abuzz with activity, music (from our neighborhood Flautist most likely, who only plays his flute by himself, and rarely seeks accompaniment from any other musician. Please god once you've heard "The Windex Song" on flute for the 583rd time, you're ready to do some ungodly things with said flute).

I digress... O.k., so I headed over to the Peanut Shoppe of Main Street to buy a bag of squirrel food for 50 cents. Squirrel food is just a brown paper bag of broken and unshelled peanuts that you can give to the squirrels as they enjoy unshelling them anyway. Got my bag, and stepped out of the doorway. Just as I got on Main Street's brick sidewalk, I was cornered by an unlikely suspect... yes, I was held at beak-point by a very chubby, mean looking pigeon. He looked at me, I looked at him. We maintained eye contact for a long moment.

I decided to give him what he wanted, and hopefully avoid any further altercation. So I reached into my paper sack to retrieve a peanut for my assailant before he got too angry. As my hand was in the bag, I noticed he was moving in on me. I pulled the peanut out of the bag, fully intending to toss it to him and hopefully leave in one piece!!! (lol) Before I could throw him his ill-gotten booty, he flew up into the air, and landed right on my right arm! You can imagine my shock that he could be so bold and unafraid of humans, really. I stood silently, watching my little feathered friend as he sat on my arm, and leaned his head down and snatched the peanut from my fingers.

Then he flew off to parts unknown, but I trust he had a full belly. I wondered how many other victims there were... He was quite a crafty pigeon. I giggled to myself as I proceeded to the park to feed the squirrels... 'Only in Memphis' I thought silently... 'Only in Memphis'.

**Note: Tomorrow is the big, stupid, candy-vomit-coated, crappy day... Very special Valentine's Day posting, so be sure to tune in!


BBC said...

Hey, where did Jinks go? She hasn't done a post for a while.

I love squirrels, birds are okay but they crap on our stuff. Did you know that a seagull can swallow a chicken bone whole? Even bigger and longer bones than that.

They must have some bad ass acid in their guts.

katy said...

the squirrel I could easily cope with, the pigeon, oh no I would have run!

Jay said...

This type of thing happens at the local park too. So many people go down there and feed the ducks and that one big old goose they they are not afraid of people at all. In fact, they're pretty aggressive about it.

If anyone pulls in and parks in the very last parking spot next to the picnic tables that are closest to the lake, the goose and the ducks start making all kinds of noise and head towards that car. Apparently some guy comes down there every morning and evening and throws out lots and lots of bird seed for the ducks and the pigeons. So they now think everybody is there to feed them. The little beggars. LOL

No More Empty Fortune Cookies said...

your Memphis pigeons sound like Nashville's Centennial Park Ducks...vicious! Guess no one bothered to teach them about Southern Hospitality. But thats a great photo of him!

Tink said...

Weird, I could have sworn I'd commented here. Thanks for the full story! I think squirrels are cute, but they kind of scare me ever since I read that story about a group of large black squirrels that beat a dog to death.