Winner

Rotary Essay Writing Competition
Ella Walters was the school winner of the essay writing competition and received her prize at the Holiday Inn recently. Here is her winning essay.

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE: THE LIFE OF A PASSENGER PIGEON
BY ELLA WALTERS – Age 10

1885
People refer to pigeons as filthy sky rats. Pests that eat whatever they find and do their business wherever they want. I don’t know why humans think of us that way though. We are full of grace and beauty (in my opinion). Despite the social perception as dirty and disease- ridden, pigeons are actually exceptionally clean animals and there is very little evidence to suggest that they are significant transmitters of disease. I personally believe that humans are the ones with diseases, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many nests labelled HOSPITAL. Every day, I see people coughing and spreading germs anywhere and everywhere.

My name is Apollo. I wander the skies, soaring happily, without a care in the world. I see people down below playing and chatting. I think of why lots of them travel in flocks. They also make big brick nests with tops on, that can’t be very comfortable. As pigeons, it’s in our DNA to know how to fly, build nests and find things to eat. We try to survive. For humans it’s easier, because they have more resources and what they call “knowledge”. Although the pigeon is one of the most intelligent of all bird species (much more intelligent than stupid chickens; I hate chickens), man has found limited uses for us other than for sport and food. But that’s only because pigeons don’t like cooperating with humans’ silly little games.

But now, its hunting season and I have to keep quiet otherwise I’ll end up on someone’s dinner plate with an apple in my beak, or maybe that’s pigs…. Anyway, hunting season is horrid because pigeons could go EXTINCT!  What would the world be like without pigeons? Reckless humans would probably say “cleaner” being the selfish people that they are, but I respectfully disagree.

Pigeon and people kind of sound the same; I wonder if our ancestors were related? I hope not: they eat us! Every year I come back to the same question; why do people hunt pigeons? Is it because they have nothing better to do? Do they like testing out their guns?  I am not sure. I see my fellow pigeons every day flying carelessly out in the open. I try to remind them that it’s hunting season and that they should be more cautious. They always tell me that I’m too dramatic and that I should worry less but they’ll be sorry when they fall out of the sky with some mysterious BANG.

Today, I’m flying around the forest feeling really happy because hunting season has finished early this year. I stop and hide in a hole at the top of my favourite tree. I hear the breaking of a stick. Something is stalking me. I wait a while. It must have left: I have been here for ages. I think my feathers must have grown at least an inch after all this time. I set off again, gliding through the air when … BANG!  Pain creeps through my body. Blood pours from my chest and streaks down my feathered wings.  I have been shot!

As I slowly fall through the air, I think of all the wonders of life. Goodbye beautiful woodlands, where I learnt how to fly. Goodbye berry bushes, where I use to collect my breakfast from. Goodbye tall fir tree, where my mother made my home for me. Goodbye freedom of flying through the open skies. Goodbye world ….

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