The Horny Passionate Pigeon

by Julie Galosy
I am Don Felipe de la Plana from the Peña Geronimo y Sylvia in the province of Almería, Spain. Perhaps you have heard of me. I have been a champion all of my life with many trophies, large and small, attesting to this fact. You would remember me if you ever saw me. Geronimo, my groomer, spent many painstaking hours with his paints. He spread my wings and painted the inside tips a glorious deep pink color. After his work on the inside he opened my wings and tinted the outside a deep purple, the royal color. Maybe you thought he was finished; lesser men would have been, but no. He let the deep purple bleed into the next ring of color he used--a magnificent lime green-- that contrasted beautifully with the purple above it. As a finishing touch he circled the lower half of my body with bright orange. You will remember it of course, because when my wings spread out you could have seen the purple, the lime and the orange almost reflecting against the interior fuchsia. It was, and is, a breathtaking sight.

Geronimo was my groomer for as long as I can remember. He began with me at very young age. At this point I do not remember when. He would reach into my cage and taunt me. I was not to be bothered, let me tell you. I was not one who had patience with human fingers inside my cage. I am sure the first time he did this I pecked at him. It was an affront to me to have someone invade my space like this. How would you feel? Yes, I thought so, you would not have liked it either. We are not so different, you and I.

Geronimo kept on, however. I did not know this at the time, but this was the beginning of my training. His fat fingers bothering me in the cage made me aggressive. It made me wait for him as if to attack a prey that was coming uninvited into my territory. It angered me that he could decide when and where to molest me. I preferred to have those decisions for myself not for him.

Over time my aggression grew. His unannounced visits to my cage were irritants in my otherwise peaceful life. A cage to some is a home to others, I felt he should respect this, but he did not. At the same time as my aggression was growing he was feeding me some wonderful food. I could not be totally angry with someone who was so generous with the treats he brought my way. I felt myself growing in strength, and more importantly, for a bird such as myself, in virility and in all that makes for masculinity. Sometime later I learned that this was the only sanctioned way to enhance the sexuality, the passion of birds who would compete. Some said these vitamins made the birds "horny," a crass and debased word in my opinion when the word "passionate" could just have easily been chosen.

The main feed was a delight to the senses but to this he added celestial treats that he presented to me when I responded in a way that pleased him. Except for the bothersome habit of sticking his fingers in my cage he was really quite a good provider and groom. I saw nothing wrong with his teaching me a few things. He made some sounds and when I responded to each sound with the expected action I received treats that the gods would have desired. At times the sounds were whistles or short bursts of air he would make. After awhile I was able to match the sound with an action he required. He made me a bit impatient though because just as soon as I mastered one set of sound-action pairs, he'd give me a new one. He even added little snaps with his fingers that were codes for the actions he required.

I really thought he should be heeding me, not vice versa but one day it all became clear.

This was the beginning of my fame. It seems that all of those little tricks—the whistles, the snaps, the treats, all of these---were just preparation. Even his fingers in the cage egging me on, were part of the master plan to make me a champion. I didn't even realize that the groom had something in mind for me. I just thought he was annoying.

Finally the day finally arrived when, I suppose, he thought I was ready. He took me in my home on a journey to a place we had never been before. When we arrived there were many pigeons, not as magnificent as I, of course, but many. They had all been painted too, I guess by their grooms, but none so regally as I. In fact their coloring seemed a tad amateurish.

There was a pit of sorts, something that I had never seen but it was difficult for me to see it as Geronimo was holding me upside down as were the other grooms to their pigeons. I found this very annoying. Mercifully it was of a short duration and then he set me down in the center of this ring, with about one hundred other pigeons!! I had no idea what he could have been thinking putting me amongst all of these lesser pigeons, but he did.

Finally, as if on cue the heavens opened up and into the ring came a creature so beautiful, so delicate, so effervescent that surely she was a goddess herself:  Dulcinea. Of course she had to be called Dulcinea, no other name would be possible. I was transported to a plain where I had never been before. My plumage swelled and my necked engorged stretching me to my full height and power. To my horror, the same was happening to all of the other birds. In fact a massive brawl was underway with pigeons in twos and threes and fours pecking and shrieking at each other with wings beating the rhythm of madness. All one hundred pigeons were in a frenzy, all trying to get each other out of the way so they could get to the only prize amongst all of us—Dulcinea.

The sound was nearly impossible to imagine with one hundred screaming pigeons, two hundred wings thrashing, hundreds of claws scratching at the bottom of the pit, and one hundred grooms shouting orders. I wished I could have put my wings over my head so as to be protected from the roar that was greeting me. Through it all a small sound arrived as if sent by a messenger, a burst of air. I recognized it immediately as coming from my groom and I recognized too that it was a signal. It was telling me to move, to get away from the fighting and to move toward the treat. The treat, there she was, in the center, cowering from the madness.

I moved toward her as directed by the instructions from Geronimo. Suddenly a pecking bird attacked my right shoulder sending me off the path toward Dulcinea. I was shocked and momentarily did not know what to do. But I quickly regained my footing and attacked him back, pecking at his neck and going for his eyes. Through the shrieking and screaming I heard Geronimo's whistle moving me toward my right, coupled with the signal to attack. I followed this direction and the other bird backed down opening the path to Dulcinea once again.

I heard the whistle Geronimo employed to tell me to move and I did, closing the gap between Dulcinea and myself. I could not get all the way however, because two groups of fighting birds blocked my path. Geronimo had prepared me well to deal with obstacles and directions and sounds. But this was my first moment with a female and nothing prepared me for the exquisite filament on which I was now balancing between aggression and passion. My whole being was inflamed and no fighting birds, no screaming grooms, and no distance was going to stop me from getting to my objective. Following the sounds from Geronimo who had an excellent perspective on the whole battle around me, I maneuvered myself toward the object of my desire.

She shrunk from the advancing hoards of male suitors, her wings flapping in panic. Her head darted from side to side, trying desperately to escape the crazed birds fighting on all sides of her. She emitted squealing sounds of agony. I closed in then, reaching her side and positioning myself between her and the other pigeons. Wave after wave of pigeons assaulted me but I was not to be deterred. I had found the lady and was defending her against all attacks.  This went on for a considerable amount of time and then, as suddenly as it had started, it ended.

Grooms reached in and took their pigeons. From somewhere above a hand scooped up Dulcinea and spirited her away. I spun round looking for her but she was gone. I felt the rough hand of Geronimo picking me up and putting me upside down in his hand as he had done when I was introduced to this pit.

“Don Felipe, you are a star!!”  he shouted at me. “You were alongside the lady more than any other pigeon. No matter who tried to come between you two, you repelled them and kept her by your side the longest of anyone. You are the champion.”

At this time I did not realize the significance of being a champion, not like I do now with so many championships behind me. At that moment I was just missing the Lady Dulcinea and wondering where they had taken her. Geronimo was holding me up and a great cry went out from the crowd. They were all clapping and yelling. “Bravo, bravo, The Champion!!”  Geronimo was smiling broadly.

Thus began my rise to fame. I did not then realize that the Lady Dulcinea would be replaced by so many others and that she was not, as I had first thought, a creature unique to this world. Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for all of the ladies and would fight for, or maneuver to be close to, each and every one. I am a cavalier.

So I am content with my life. I have the advantage of being both strong and intelligent. What I cannot win with strength I can win by wiles. I am as cunning as I am strong. This is a great advantage in a competition that can be won by either. It has served me well as I won the prestigious King's Cup   Championship for the Sporting Pigeons for all of Spain three times so far.

Geronimo continues to work with me and he adds strategies to my repertoire such that I seem to always be a step ahead of all of the others. In the pit the champion is easy to identify he is the one whose present talents are not constrained by his past inadequacies. He brings his best to every situation when it is necessary to win. This is true of all of life, is it not?
Julie Galosy lives in the high plane between the two sides of the Sierra Madre mountains in Central Mexico. She writes with a perspective slightly askew on anything that takes her fancy.

© 2018, Julie Galosy