Death of a Pelican in St James’s Park

I would recommend your sign be more firm. ‘Please do not feed’ implies the action to be optional. A sans-serif font would be considerably more off-putting.

There have been pelicans here on the lake since 1664, a gift from the Russian ambassador.

In South Australia, a woman named Judy communicated with pelicans as a way to heal lung disease. I learned of her via a text picked up at Adelaide International Airport. The message read ‘Say hi to the pelican lady.’ From a man who had shown every sign of being The One.

There was sun on the grass and pearl-blue plumes from the Tiffany fountain. Girls on deckchairs, settling into their icy beauty.

The Canal Trust recommend offering waterfowl more natural treats, such as corn or defrosted peas. Some animals will eat anything. I was curious about the pelican’s fussiness. Where would you find frozen peas in the wild? The pelican was separate from the group. I leant over the railings and felt its beak spread my fingers, the snapping cat-tongue of its gullet. Do you see how easy it is not to read signs?

I am trying to explain it was a gesture of companionship. I am saying that at the moment the official approached, I was thinking of the other side of the world and the pelican lady of Adelaide, envious of her communing with the birds gathered at her knees.

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