Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday photo challenge is EASY! Children feeding pigeons in a busy town square – doesn’t everyone have a photo like this? OK, maybe not. But I have the perfect match in one of the most popular town squares in the world.
The minute Jordan, Zoe, and I stepped inside Piazza San Marco in Venice, all we could hear was the flapping of wings and the cooing of pigeons. Hundreds of pigeons. Maybe thousands, who could count? For a time we were frozen in place, unsure which way to go or how to navigate through the throng of birds.
Then I saw a little boy, so still, so quiet, almost like a statue. The birds came to him.
Oh, I had to have a picture of that! And I had to have my girls have the same experience. Reluctantly they stood and suddenly they too became a human perch covered in birds.
Of course, once that novelty wore off, the hand sanitizer came out!
At the time, we were unaware that Venetians do not like tourists encouraging the birds by feeding them (even though there were plenty of licensed vendors selling bird seed – I assume they were Venetians). Bird poo is not welcome on the beautiful historic buildings, especially the façade of St. Mark’s Basilica. In fact, in 2008, a law was passed making feeding pigeons in Venice illegal.
|My scrapbook page|
Had my mother been along on that trip, she would have freaked out. She hated birds. Not just real, live birds. She hated bird motifs in fabric. Bird motifs in wallpaper. Paintings of birds. Bird jewelry. Unless it was a chicken she could eat, she automatically hated it. I don’t know if she was born hating birds or if her hatred was a result of an incident in our front yard sometime in the mid-1960s.
|Our house in Cradock in the 1960s. Birds nested in the bush|
in front of the fireplace.
There was a nest of baby birds in a bush in front of our house. Momma held my little sister on her hip, and the two of them peered in closely to get a good look at those cute little beaks open wide. That’s when Momma Catbird came home with dinner. She did not take kindly to those two nosey humans getting close to her babies. She flew at my mother and pecked her head. My mother got the message loud and clear. She and my sister went running. So I know for sure Momma hated birds after that.
As for my sister and me, we like birds. We like filling the bird feeders and keeping all the song birds and finches happy. But we know better than to go looking for occupied nests.
Watch the birdie at Sepia Saturday!
© 2017, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.