Filipino workers at Cargill Meat Plant in High River, Alberta were devastated and humiliated. Dozens of them were tested positive for Covid19. The plant was closed for days.
One of the coping mechanisms in time of isolation for Mel’s family was his pigeon racing stock.
However, last year’s complaint from the neighbor hounded the family. A by-law officer asked Mel to get rid of the birds. Bird cages were dismantled. He drove the birds up to Edmonton and let them go. Meters away from the house late in the afternoon from long drive, he was surprised to see the birds waiting on top of the roof. Neighbors’ eyes were seething.
Days later came another visit from by-law officer. He was told not to feed the birds. It was heartbreaking directive. By-law enforcers are mandated to only seize astray animals—excluding pigeons.
Mel’s heart broken. With Covid19 around, birds waiting for him outside for attention and food, and inconsiderate neighbor were like albatross hanging in his neck. It was like a flood of 2013 feeling. Helpless, hopeless, and desperate.
Where is reason, humanity, and goodwill between and among neighbors and even by-law officer? He asked.
Work resumed at the plant. Workers felt some relief. Mel missed his avian friends. Neighbor seemed looking for something to report to by-law officer. Covid still lurking around.
An agonizing, nauseating and irritating experience, indeed. However, human spirit is resilient, creative, strong and persistence. Hang on there, Mel! Your neighbor’s badge remains the same – grumpy and gloomy. Your birds will survive. Everything will be fine.
Covid will come to pass! High spirit in High River is dawning.
Covid19 Fundemic SPRING CHOICES (Series # 5)