By: Oscar Zarraga

Jean-Pierre, The Prophet of Pigeons

Let me tell you the story of a great pigeon. The one who is known as the prophet and savior of all beaked city dwellers. This is the story of Jean-Pierre. Now, first things first, why would a pigeon have a French name you might wonder. Well, what very few people know is that all pigeons have French names. See, one time there was a boy who instantly saw the beauty of these hopping street beggars. For that reason, he used them as models for all of his paintings. Paintings nobody would buy because well… Amongst the sophisticated class that tends to buy art, pigeons are not considered the most elegant of beings. The boy thought long and hard about what to do about this problem when finally, he got it. 

“Everything French is sophisticated, so from now on all pigeons will have French names.”

Of course, this had zero effect, since pigeons can’t speak and if they could, nobody would bother to listen, so they never managed to formally introduce themselves.

Anyway, back to the hero of our story. How did Jean-Pierre become a saint amongst a species whose main concern is to shit on cars and beg for food, rather than looking for answers in the realm of spirituality? To answer this question, we need to go to a rooftop somewhere in Budapest. Jean-Pierre’s life on this rooftop was quite similar to that of most pigeons. He hung out with his friends who were mainly occupied with practicing their aim for shitting on the fanciest cars (pigeons are notorious anti-elitists, both in the financial sense as well as the cultural sense, which makes their sophisticated French names even more ironic) Jean-Pierre was very similar to most pigeons indeed, except for one little thing. He was considered a bit of a moron by his peers, as he was always daydreaming and wandering off thoughtlessly, making him miss many opportunities to shit on a big, juicy Mercedes. He didn’t care. The whole reason why he was wandering, was that he had always deeply felt that there should be more to life than shitting and eating. 

One day he wandered into the chimney. The thing with chimneys is that they echo all the voices from inside a building. The fights, the lovemaking, the casual conversations over dinner… Now, for a being as uneducated as a pigeon, this is a confusing phenomenon. And pigeons are not that different from humans; when they don’t understand something, they instantly attach a higher power to it. And so every day Jean-Pierre returned to the same spot, cooing his big questions to the gods. 

“What is there more to life than shitting on cars? How can I transcend regular pigeonhood?” He spoke and spoke, but the voices never gave him a clear answer. The cacophony of human life is an uncaring god.

Of course, the other pigeons looked at him with contempt and mockery. Every time someone asked about his odd behavior, they would say:

“Oh, that’s Jean-Pierre, he’s a bit slow in the head. He believes that supernatural creatures exist that speak to him. Let’s not bother with him. I heard there’s a big ass Porsche parked somewhere around here.”

If he were very honest, Jean-Pierre started to doubt himself a lot as well. It’s one thing to believe in the voices of a higher being, but it’s a whole other thing to continue to put your faith in them when they seem to never answer your prayers. His doubt became so strong that he was ready to give up. This was until one day everything changed. 

A new girl had just arrived under Jean-Pierre’s rooftop. After her parents got divorced, she moved to this new, strange building, feeling lonelier than ever. She often cried softly in the corner of her still empty room. Jean-Pierre heard her soft, melodic weeping and was mesmerized. For the first time, the voices of the gods sounded gentle, soft, and vulnerable. He instantly knew that in that beauty he could find the answers he was so desperately looking for. He started to coo back with a new dedication and enthusiasm. Something the girl noticed. Every time she heard the cooing, she knew that she was not alone, that there was a creature out there that could hear her, comfort her. She softly started to whisper back into the pipes. First softly, but louder and louder. Telling about her day, singing, reading from her diary. Jean-Pierre’s coos got louder and louder too as he felt his own dedication coming back to him. 

Unfortunately for Jean-Pierre not all the gods in the building were as enthusiastic about his dedication as the little girl was. Most of them considered it quite an inconvenience, and as we all know, humans tend to react to even minor inconveniences with murder and violence. 

This one fatal day Jean-Pierre landed again at the exact same spot as always when BANG! Spikes that the neighbors had installed penetrated his fragile little pigeon body. There he was, our poor little Jean-Pierre, the first pigeon ever to seek for a deeper meaning, dangling on a rooftop somewhere in Budapest. 

All of his friends just shook their heads. 

“That’s what you get when you believe in silly things like talking gods.” 

They were ready to turn around and go back to poo on whatever, when something miraculous commenced. The girl had seen what had happened and now came to save her precious friend from his humiliating position. All the other pigeons froze as this beautiful, angelic creature came and picked him up. 

This my dear readers is how Jean-Pierre became the prophet of pigeons. The first one ever to talk to the gods and to be taken to heaven in their caring hands.