Return of the Bread Breaker

18 Feb

Some time last July slices of bread started appearing on the sidewalk at the corner of Courtland and Ralph McGill. Never an entire loaf, but never just one or two slices either. It was usually four to seven slices of bread, usually white, some of it torn into smaller pieces. It appeared some time between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Perhaps whoever was putting the bread there intended to feed the pigeons that sit surveying the neighborhood from the streetlights on the opposite side of the street or flying in a loose formation near the Imperial Hotel. But, for whatever reason, neither the pigeons nor any other birds seem much interested in the bread. Other than the single pigeon I saw take a couple of desultory pecks at one of the sodden, greenish slices that had been lying there for a few days, then shake its head violently and quickly walk away, I’ve never even seen birds on the sidewalk on this side of the intersection.

But again and again the bread would appear, not at any regular intervals. Sometimes twice in 72 hours, sometimes only once a week or less. It would lie there night and day, sun and rain, getting  sniffed and stepped on by dogs. Then, it would disappear, presumably put into the trash. Then, some time in September or October, no more bread.

Until today.

The unseasonably warm weather seems to have ignited a renewal of the Bread Breaker’s inscrutable generosity.

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But, why now? If the person’s intention was to feed the birds, why not do it while it was cold and icy, when they might have a harder time finding food? Also, why are the birds indifferent to food on the ground on this side of the street, while on the other side of Courtland, there’s always a flapping, fluttering scrum at even the suggestion of anything edible?

Is this a one-off, or is the season of handfuls of stale baked goods strewn on the ground upon us again already?

We’ll see.

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