I still feel unaccountably distressed and sad about the poor pigeon.
We're encouraged to think of them as vermin but this was a lovely wood pigeon, and I can no more think of it as vermin than the squirrels which descend on our garden from the woodland beyond.
We have a good camping friend who is a vet and I find it difficult to imagine that she regularly puts animals to sleep. Of course that is part and parcel of being a vet, and today I would have given anything to be able to put the pigeon out of its undoubted agony with a simple injection.
Years ago, in another life, one of my children discovered a poorly rabbit in the garden. It was clearly in the final stages of myxomatosis and in a great deal of distress. Neither my then husband or father-in-law would deal with it, although the ex father in law offered me the loan of his air rifle.
That was big of him.
I sent the children indoors and put the muzzle of the air rifle close up against the rabbit's head....... and after what felt like an age I pulled the trigger.
It's the only time I've ever intentionally killed any warm-blooded creature ( I don't count wasps, or ants or mosquitoes although I possibly should....) and although I knew it couldn't be saved and was destined to die a long, lingering death, I felt absolutely, desolately awful for days.
I don't like fishing (although I do eat fish)
I can't watch scenes of animal slaughter (although I do eat meat)
Hypocrite or what......?