Limpy Lou

by Erin Owens

I first noticed Limpy Lou because he wasn’t the same as the dozens of pigeons that crowded around my taco cart in Bushnell Park in Hartford. While the other birds pranced around pecking up the crumbs I’d offer them, Limpy Lou hopped on this right leg, while his left leg extended out behind him, never touching the ground. His appetite, however, proved to be more than normal, and Limpy Lou was soon a regular customer, showing up at exactly a quarter to two each day. Over the next three years, Limpy Lou and I became good friends.

When he became ill in April 1997, I captured him and took him to Dr. Giddings. The vet said that what Limpy needed most was rest and good food. Two weeks later he was vastly improved and I released him back to the park, healthier than before.

In the winter of 1998, I decided to catch Limpy again and keep him caged during the cold weather, releasing him agalimpy louin in the spring. This pattern continued until 2001, when I realized Limpy was getting weaker and old age was not kind. I arranged with Kevin Gifford of Wickham Park East Hartford to have Limpy live out his final days in the comfort of their bird exhibit, keeping company with the fancy species of pigeons there. He died peacefully in March 2001.

Although ‘just a pigeon,’ Limpy Lou had such a big impact on my life. I have now written a children’s book about this special bird, with illustrations by local artist Rodney Bull. We hope to have the book published within the next few months as a lasting tribute to Limpy Lou.