Birds Find Sanctuary
That's how many urban Americans think of pigeons. As a native New Yorker, even one predisposed to affection for all living creatures, I can sometimes fail to see the charm in the ubiquitous feathered presence of these rather unkempt and scatalogically proficient birds.
But elsewhere, they are beloved pets, treated as lovingly as we treat our domesticated critters. In India, a hospital ministers to injured pet pigeons then sets them free. Click here to read the story.
By the way, the phrase "rats with wings" originated in Woody Allen's 1980 film, Stardust Memories. Here's the snippet of dialogue wherein it is contained (Allen is Sandy; Charlotte Rampling is Dorrie):
DORRIE "What are you thinking about when you look out there?"
SANDY "Just, you know, all those people and, you know, how unhappy most of them are, and how...those terrible things they do to each other and, you know. How everything is...over so quickly and you don't have any idea...was it worth it or not."
. . . .
SANDY "What was that? What was that?"
DORRIE "Hey, that's so pretty. A pigeon!"
SANDY "Geez...no, it's not pretty at all. They're...they're...they're rats with wings."
DORRIE "They're wonderful. No! It's probably a good omen. It'll bring us good luck."
SANDY "No...no, get it out of here. It's probably one of those killer pigeons."
DORRIE "No, get something for it to eat. We can coax it down! What are you doing? Hey, wait!"
SANDY "You see, it's got a swastika under its wings."
DORRIE "It's wonderful. Not that.
SANDY "I just...I just want to guide it out of the apartment. Geez. I don't want a winged thing in my house."