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A Fable about Air Fear

There was a Big City pigeon named Fancy that lived on the ledge of a rooftop and was afraid to take the plunge. Although admirably pigeon-esque in every other aspect, Fancy never had nerve enough to develop that nonchalant trust between wings and airwaves that is necessary for flying.

To get to the street and peck up its food, Fancy used the stairwell; all six flights down and back up.

To escape attacks from bullies of any sort, Fancy hopped and scurried, skated on its claws.

To widen its foraging range, Fancy took the subways here and there. Rode perched on hand-rails, peering head aslant at folks' newspapers, occasionally pooping pellets of guano.

Fancy caught the public's fancy and drew a following of Supporters (mainly upper West-Side passengers), as well as Detractors (a coalition of homeless persons and bona-fide rodents).

Fancy became busy in promotions. Billboards along the tracks proclaimed, 'Fancy this' and 'Fancy that'. If only the makers could stop Fancy long enough for a signing, there was a fancy sneaker contract ready. Even government lobbying firms began whetting their chops.

Then, on a breeze from the East, came bird flu.

Moral: If one has wings, maybe one should fly.