I killed a pigeon the other day.
I didn’t mean to. I was driving to the shops, along a busy section of the Inner Ring Road, and was turning onto the road that takes you to Small Heath when I suddenly saw walking across the dual carriageway a fat pigeon. I was too close to it to stop in time so I thought I’d try to swerve so that the car passed over and not onto the hapless bird. Alas, a little thud and the ride over a barely perceptible bump alerted me to my possible failure at this maneuver. A glance into the rear-view mirror and at the explosion of little feathers trailing behind the car confirmed my fears.
Why did it do it? I mean if you could fly and you had to get across a busy dual-carriageway wouldn’t you just flap your wings and avoid the huge noisy things that keep rushing along it.
As I approached the shops, guilt-laden, I concluded that this was either a suicidal pigeon or that it had forgotten how to fly or perhaps it was ill and just wanted to get to the other side of the road. There was a zebra crossing just up the road but it would be stupid of me to expect the pigeon to use that – how would it have reached the button?
But what about all the karma associated with killing the poor creature, I thought as I parked up and walked into the shop, perhaps I should find a Buddhist priest somewhere and ask him how best to eradicate the bad karma I’d just accumulated. Do Catholic priests take confessions from lapsed agnostics? Could the Imam at the local mosque offer up a janaza prayer for the departed fowl? How would a Jedi handle this?
There really wasn’t much I could do about it and feeling guilty wasn’t going to get me anywhere. Besides, I had shopping to do and that evening’s chicken wasn’t going to buy itself now was it?
[UPDATE: 28/09/05 – silentwordsspeakloudest reckons it was pigeon manslaughter … I’m going to go with an insanity plea]