Many years ago, when my eldest was a toddler, I stumbled upon a cute little picture book in the local library called, Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus. The illustrations were cute, each page only had a few words making it an easy read while managing a newborn at the same time. So, I grabbed it along with all the books my son had picked out himself. What I didn’t expect was having so much fun reading the book aloud. I’m talking all the feelings and emotions that one can have while reading Pigeon stories. The whining, the pleading, the shouting, it’s just so much stinking fun!
Over the years we’ve kept our eyes out for new Pigeon adventures, and dutifully added the new stories to our collection. Despite the fact that our once young children are now adults, we still get excited each time Mo Willems releases another Pigeon story. We’ve laughed ourselves silly over the many pickles, adventures, and chaos that seem to be part of Pigeon’s life.
Not too long ago, while out shopping we noticed a display of stuffed animals up near the registers at one of our local department stores. The long was line, and it was a great distraction from the impatience of other customers, especially when we all spotted sweet little Pigeon amongst the plushies. I didn’t hesitate, I picked him up, squeezed him tight and said, “Pigeon, I’ll give you a hot dog if you come home with me!” He readily agreed, muttering something about driving a bus too.
Pigeon now sits proudly atop a small bookshelf in my bedroom with a few other small treasures. He sits there and attempts to not distract me with his big, crazy eyes when I’m supposed to be doing important things. You know, like writing, reading, or working out. He hasn’t stolen the keys to the car, he’s asked politely for a cookie, and fully enjoyed his hotdog. Of course, he’s disappointed me by being in full agreement with my husband that a puppy is not a good idea, but other than that it’s all been going along quite well. Until, I heard a great commotion while I was brushing my teeth one night.
I get pretty lost in thought while brushing my teeth, not about Pigeon, but about any number of wild ideas that Pigeon might readily join me for. Things like attempting to write a story in five sentences, or wondering exactly how many helium filled balloons it would really take to lift a house right off the ground. Or, when the first snow will fall, and will we be awake to watch each snowflake flutter to the ground? But the noise being committed on the other side of the door was growing louder, and I heard my husband say, “Exactly what are you doing?”
Followed by a chuckle and, “Shh, Mom can’t know, but I really need to steal Pigeon for myself.”
I pulled open the bathroom door just in time to watch Pigeon take flight. Calm down, I was not hallucinating from the funky toothpaste I recently purchased. No, that teal colored pigeon was taking flight in my eldest’s arms and they were both about to evacuate the room.
I’m not going to lie, I went into toddler rage mode and raced after my son who was running as fast as one can in a small house, poor little Pigeon’s crooked legs flying out behind him.
“Stop! Give that back, it’s mine!”
“Mom, seriously, you’re an adult. I’m a child, Pigeon wants to be with me.”
“You’re legally an adult, and you can’t just kidnap my Pigeon!”
“Fine,” he said, throwing Pigeon back to me and frowning.
That wasn’t exactly the end of the escapades though. No, not even close. I had to brush my teeth with one eye on the bookcase for weeks, because he’d attempt to move Pigeon to a new location in hopes that I wouldn’t notice. And, of course, if I didn’t notice long enough he might be successful in luring Pigeon to go live across the hall with him. Most likely with the promise that Pigeon could drive the bus. Not that we own one, but I’m sure Pigeon would be just as satisfied with a car.
Pigeon is not quiet though, and neither is our son. Thus, the kidnapping results of Pigeon eventually came to an end. I suspect it’s only a temporary change, while our boy thinks up a new idea, either that or he’s gone after the other Pigeon.
“Another Pigeon?” you ask.
Why yes, of course! You see, we all love Pigeon so much that my husband really wanted Pigeon for his office. He has a couple of floating shelves in there with an assortment of trinkets on them. And here’s the thing, I’m pretty sure that Pigeon gets fed lots of good things, when he’s not busy laughing at the antics of fellow workmates and their video meetings. You know, the ones I accidentally barge into shouting things like, “I finished the manuscript!” while an entire screen of blank faced strangers stare at me.
There’s no real way to back quietly out of that kinda mess. Not even with a teal colored plush Pigeon in your hands.
It’s true, Dear Readers, I really did barge into an online meeting. I wish I could say it was a once off mistake, but it’s not. During the lockdowns of 2020, I was caught loudly orating the Declaration of Independence for my kids. I was pretending to be all George Washington-like and reading it while standing atop a table. Apparently when I reached feverish pitch it broke into the work meeting my husband was in the middle of– with his door wide open. We heard it slam shut.
I can’t blame Pigeon for these exploits, they are 100% my own doing. I’d offer my husband’s fellow workmates full apologies, but that would mean facing them again.. While not donned in workout gear and unwashed hair, looking crazy from lack of sleep while shouting, “I finished the manuscript!” And that’s just a little more bravery than I fear I can muster up.
Maybe I could send Pigeon in my stead, but I suspect his demands would be very high. More cookies than I could likely provide. Possibly even allowing him a quick drive around the block. But chances are high that Pigeon would want to see himself repeatedly in the camera. Or, take over the meeting, or worse– whatever that might be.
So, I shall refrain from the entire idea and instead attempt to hunt down a plush teal pigeon for my son. I know where I can find an ordinary one, but I’m thinking if I’m going to do this I should go big. Like really, really big. After all, who wouldn’t want an oversized large Pigeon for Christmas?
In the meantime, if you haven’t read a single Pigeon story I urge you to make haste to your local library and check out a few titles. If, horror upon horror, your library is all out of Pigeon books then you might get just as much delight out of Elephant and Piggie books by Mo too. Adult or not, I keep telling my family I really need to obtain Elephant and Piggie’s books too, after all they are the books my boys learned to read with.