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A letter to London’s pigeons

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Dearest Pigeons,

I am writing with regards to the recent unpleasant experiences I have had with you and fellow members of your species.

If I may, allow me to begin by drawing your attention to the typical quirks of British behaviour, specifically the values of the Britons residing in London. The City of London is a cosmopolitan one, and – I like to believe – inclusive. Yet, I am sure none need reminding of the unspoken and unwritten conventions that regulate public behaviour. One need only think of journeys on the tube to know that London commuters favour minimal eye contact; exchanges between strangers rarely ever extend beyond “Hello, how are you? – Fine, and you? – Fine”, before both parties move on; and, unlike in the colder, northern recesses of the country*, Londoners are not over-friendly, and never too close.

Your kind, on the other hand, despite starting out more British (in this particular regard) than we ever were – flapping away as soon as a fellow human got a little close – have become so accustomed to our presence, that our behavioural norms concern you no more. No longer do the habits of Londoners influence you. Oblivious to our customs, it is as if you have lost all regard for our personal space, caring not for offending us with your total disregard for it.

Allow me to take this opportunity to remind you that, I, for one, value my personal space, and consider your ‘closeness’ to me an invasion of privacy. Swooping directly above me – flaunting your superior ability of independent flight – is tolerable,  but flapping your wings mere inches from my face is NOT okay, and trying to eat my sandwich with me is most definitely NOT okay.

On behalf of my fellow citizens, I request and implore you to adopt more British values, to learn from the way we interact with each other and implement your findings in your interactions with us. While I understand that societies and cultures are constantly transforming, and in fact, I encourage societal and behavioural advance, the changes as dramatic as the ones you are attempting to enforce take many generations before being accepted.

I would very much appreciate if the issues highlighted in this letter are considered seriously, allowing us to work together to foster a relationship of mutual respect and distance, benefiting both the humans and the pigeons of London.

I look forward to working with you, and thank you in advance for your cooperation.




*It’s called a joke, guys. I’m pretty much one of you; take no offence.


About Ibtehaal

I graduated with a degree in Chinese and Economics, which involved spending a year studying Chinese in Beijing. This turned out to be the hardest but most rewarding thing I think I have ever done. I've now returned to China for another year, to study in Shanghai and figure out my next steps.

4 responses »

  1. Lol I hope the pid-juns take heed of ur letter.

    Nice one bai

  2. Haha! I frequently see pigeons catching the circle line at Paddington. They’re taking over the world, I tell you!


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