Living Between the Lines

Catch that pigeon!

Funny how sometimes luck just seems to be on your side isn’t it? It is downright scary just how often chance plays a part in our lives. If we could watch from somewhere on high and see the paths life takes us, how amazing would that be?

The film, “Sliding Doors” dealt with just this subject. If we could change a single event how would it affect our lives? What different scenarios would face us?

The other day, Flossie, yes, she who writes regularly on this blog, proved her status as a retriever by retrieving a pigeon. Flossie has tried catching pigeons before. Her great puppy paws pound the turf, she leaps into the air and away the feathered friend flies, leaving her to gaze after it in puzzled surprise.

We don’t know what happened the other morning. Maybe the pigeon had already met with an adversary that morning, maybe it was injured, maybe it was snoozing. Maybe Flossie has just discovered how to stalk her prey silently. In any event, it did not fly away and Flossie snared it fair and square. I wont dwell on the fate of that poor pigeon but suffice to say, it did not fly away, despite our protestations and horror struck cries of,


“Flossie, no!”

So, this morning, as I bundled both dogs into my car to take them down to the common, I was blissfully unaware of what else might be happening in the neighbourhood at this time.

We arrived at the common and I kept both dogs on the lead until we were safely through the swing gate. Two little dogs were heading for the exit with their owners so I turned right and down the slope, walking behind the trees to give those two dogs plenty of time to leave. I wanted a peaceful, event -free walk. When we emerged from the trees, the common was empty – I let both dogs off their leads and watched them race around.

We took our usual route, a figure of eight and then, because the common was empty and it was a lovely day, I considered going around again. As we approached the bench near the gate, I decided to sit a while. Both dogs came to me so I put their leads on and after a couple of minutes, decided against the additional lap.

We wandered back towards the exit.

A car drove up as we emerged. I ignored it. I unlocked my car’s rear door and in jumped Keano. Flossie stood looking at me wagging her tail and panting heavily. With a bit of encouragement, she too jumped into the car and I closed the door. Now, it is important you remember just when I closed the door.

Clunk! It is now, there, it is shut…

The driver of the car next to us, is closing his boot at this exact moment. He is carrying something large in each hand. I stare.

The man walks by my car with two wicker baskets of fluttering pigeons and trudges onto the common where he is evidently about to release them.

I cannot believe what a close call that was. I cannot believe that anyone would be at the common with a flock of pigeons in the first place. Dogs chase pigeons. Flossie chases pigeons. Flossie has caught and killed a pigeon.

I look into the car. Both dogs are lying down,  both unaware of the near miss we have just encountered.

So, you see, ever since, I have been wondering at what point did fate decide our paths should not cross – the pigeon man and I?

Did he leave his house a tad later than usual? Did I decide against that final lap for a reason? Supposing I had taken just five seconds longer. Would I have been able to hold onto Flossie? Seven minutes earlier and she would have been running free. I imagine she would have noticed the man and his pigeons as they came onto the common. She would have run straight at him in gleeful puppy excitement. Twenty  minutes earlier and we may have been hidden by the trees. Suppose those pigeons had been let free just as we were coming into view. Flossie would have surely chased them and for all I know, she might just have caught one.

There would have been a scene, of that I am sure.

Whew! What a lucky escape!

Fate is a funny thing…

I am an Author, wife to one, mother to five and grandmother to six. I live in the English countryside in Hampshire, UK, with my husband and two dogs and am a non exec Director for Glow


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