Thursday, December 29, 2011

Plane Rides for Pigeon : : A Trip to New England

Pigeon was sound asleep after a long week of travels. It was a week of firsts for Pigeon. He visited his first airport. He flew on his first airplane. He had his first real Christmas. And best of all, he met most of his New England family for the very first time. Whenever Pigeon opened his eyes, a new face smiled down at him. Every time he wiggled, a different lap warmed him. And every time he needed a hug or a cuddle, a strange but soft set of hands held him against an unfamiliar but welcoming chest.

High voices and low laughter rang out around him from above and below. These were the sounds of Pigeon's family, young and old and in-between. Some were tall and swayed slowly in the room like trees; others were short and scampered under everyone's feet like dogs. Pigeon didn't know there were so many other people in the world almost as tiny as he, and every bit as loud.

In New England there were cousins who fed him and stroked his hair with cookie-crumb fingers. There were aunts who sounded a bit like his mother, and great-aunts who sounded more like his Grammy. There were uncles who patted him and passed him back quickly. And there was his wonderful Grammy, who had been there when Pigeon was born. Finally there was Grampy, who had given Pigeon his name. He waited in the background, quiet and patient, for a turn with the new little boy. When the gathering ended, the others left and Pigeon slept in Grampy's lap in a house as quiet and as still as he.

It wasn't long before certain voices and laps and hands and chests were no longer strange to Pigeon at all. The old New England house became familiar, too, with its creaking, wide pine-board floors, its low-beamed ceilings, and its stout wood stove. There was a tree in one corner like the one at his house, with the same warm glow from giant bulbs coloring everyone's face with Christmas. Things were warm and happy there, Pigeon decided. He thought he might stay in New England for a while. 

But just as quickly as he arrived, Pigeon had to leave. Mother and Father whisked him away once again to the airport, where a thousand lights made him squint and people zoomed past on floating stairs of steel and glass. Such a place was not warm and cozy like the house in New England. But Pigeon still had Father's hands to shield him and Mother's lap to sleep in. As the plane roared and rocketed through the black December sky, Pigeon curled up like a hedgehog and slept. Pigeon knew that with the right hands and lap a person could be cozy just about anywhere.


  1. I absolutely love how you are sharing Pigeon with his family! so many new moms make the mistake of not letting all those new family members dote on and cuddle her new little one! and sometimes, feelings can get hurt! How great of Pigeon's mom to make some room in the nest!!

  2. Oh, Leanne, I wish I could share him MORE with my family! I am glad we are closer to them in New England than we were a year ago, but I still wish he could grow up in front of them and with his cousins. Thank goodness for Christmas and summer vacations! :o)


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