People and Pigeons
I am far from perfect but nobody can reproach me for being a pessimist.
When it is cloudy I am happy it is not rainy.
When it is rainy I am happy there is no storm.
When there is a storm I think ‘this does not last for ever’.
When the sparrows fall from the roof due to the heat I do not pick them up to throw them back. ‘If a sparrow prefers to fall from a roof that is his business’ I think. ‘If I had wings I would never fall from a roof.’
For me the good news is if there is no news.
But this does not mean I never get annoyed, on the contrary. I even hate things.
Amongst the things that I hate are the telephone, stupid questions and bad pigeons, especially bad pigeons in my loft.
Now you can imagine how I felt when a guy phoned me for youngsters off that pretty splash that he had seen at my place, because that bird WAS a bad one.
As for results that splash was the greatest shit bird I ever had.
‘Well’ I said to the man on the phone, ‘I will write about the bird that you saw’.
‘In a pigeon magazine?’ he reacted.
I was stunned.
What a goofy was I talking to?
‘No, in a magazine for ants that are gay’ I said ironically and almost vomiting.
The guy’s name was Donna and I always stay away from people with the name of Donna as much as possible.
Only God knows why, but for me Donna is synonymous for dumb.
Maybe it is because of Madonna, that BBNB type (‘Big Breasts No Brains’)
Sometimes she likes to record a song which is also a way to draw attention.
I never met her and I do not intend to, unless she would pay for it.
What I mean to say is that people with the name of Donna upset me, as I do not trust them for one meter.
‘I have something important to tell you’ Donna said.
I inhaled the smoke of my cigarette, which I always do when I think something is going to be important.
Then he said:
‘Good pigeons give good pigeons’.
My mouth fell open. ‘You really think so?’ I said.
But a word is a word, so I am going to write about that splash.
If you and me would bet who owns the most stupid bird I am sure you would lose as birds more stupid than my splash simply cannot exist.
Now you, dear reader and far from stupid of course, may wonder why such a bird could be in my loft.
Didn’t I hate stupid birds?
Right, but I found many excuses not to get rid of him.
He survived his first year since his brother raced super.
He survived his second year since another brother performed well.
He survived its third year since champions that saw the bird all agreed this was an exceptional pigeon.
So I kept it for 4 years; 4 wasted years.
Do you think it strange that the brother of super birds is a poor racer and a poor breeder as well?
Nothing in pigeon sport is strange! That is the fun of it.
I will give you some examples that will show what this sport is about.
In 1996 I bred 145 and 144, brother and sister that became 1st and 2nd Provincial Ace against average 11,000 birds in the races.
So these were real supers.
But unfortunately the father got lost from a normal race in nice weather.
But I thought I could make up for the loss.
I had a full brother of the bird got lost that I could mate with the mother of 144 and 145.
What difference would that make?
It made all the difference, as it seemed.
None of their babies were any good.
This sport is full of surprises.
Once I found a stray bird in my loft, I reported it and the owner lived 60 kilometres south.‘You may keep it’ he said ‘I do not like birds that get lost’.
But I was not too happy with it.
I had many birds myself and did not want one of which I did not know the origin.
Coincidentally I had to be nearby the place of the breeder 2 days later and I released it there in bad weather.
It directly flew home but… to MY home, not to the place it belonged.
Isn’t it unbelievable?
I dare not even toss OLD birds directly from a distance of 60 kilometres.
I was so impressed that I gave that bird a chance and put it in my race team.
Only one year later it had won 4 firsts.
Naturally I was happy with it and I went to the breeder with flowers to show my gratitude and hoping to find out more about the origin.
And what did he tell me?
The bird was off 2 yearlings but he did not remember them.
This guy must have real good birds I thought and I bought 10 youngsters off his best breeders.
None of them was any good.
So what is reality in pigeon sport?
One never knows!
- It is quite possible that a pretty bird off good parents is absolutely worthless while its brothers that are less pretty may be supers.
- It is quite possible that a bird that is almost unbeatable in the races is a poor breeder while its full brother that cannot win a prize is a good breeder.
- And it is quite possible that a pair that gave 2 supers will never give one more.
Let’s finish with a truly happened anecdote.
Once I had a seminar in Las Vegas USA.
‘Listen’ I said, ‘I believe in good pigeons, but even more in good luck.
People nodded but not everybody.
Among them were guys who could not win a decent prize but who had become millionaires by selling paper tigers. They were not happy with my presence, I should have stayed in Holland.
‘Do you really think super birds may give children that are no good?’ a seller asked.
‘Do you really believe that Paris exists?’ I reacted.
Then I got sick of all the bull I heard and called a taxi.
It was 6 a.m.
Back in my hotel room I put on the answering machine.
‘You son of a gun’ I heard.
‘You’re welcome’ I smiled.
‘What do I do here?’ I asked myself, ‘I try to get scales from eyes but they just want to be blind’.
I put on the radio in order to cheer up. I was lucky.
The radio yelled one of my favourite golden oldies: ‘Love hurts.’
‘And the truth also’ I thought and reached for a gin.
I am far from perfect, remember.