Another Pigeon Story

[Oct. 6, 1888.]

Mr. Ainger's letter in the Spectator of September 22nd reminds me of

an almost identical friendship that existed some years ago at Grove

House, Knutsford. A long-haired mastiff was kept chained as a watch-dog,

and when a white fantail pigeon's mate died, it attached itself to the

mastiff, and was continually with it in the kennel. When the dog had its

breakfast of porridge and milk, the pigeon would eat out of the bowl at

the same time; and when the dog had finished, it would lie flat on its

side while the pigeon perched on its head and pecked off the grains of

oatmeal that stuck to the long hair round its mouth. The only danger to

the pigeon seemed to be that when the dog rushed out of the kennel

suddenly to bark, it seemed to forget the pigeon, and we used to fear

that the heavy chain might hurt it; but it never was hurt. This

friendship lasted many years, till one of the two, I forget which, died.