The road not taken
People often ask me why I changed my system after being so successful for many years racing traditional widowhood.
Before I tell you why I changed my way of racing, you should know that since a couple of years I got an (or is it one more?) enemy: the mirror.
I just hate to see that those thick raven black hairs are gone and last night I got a new problem.
I dreamt about a breath taking beauty that was looking at me with longing eyes. She was of the 'nbbb' type (No Brains, Big Breasts).
Then sadly enough I noticed that she was not looking at me, but at my son.
What a bad feeling.
But sometimes life is fun though, especially when the thermometer hits 20 Celsius or more.
Then I can admire sexy long legs and dancing T-shirts.
Casually of course, I do not want that others see what I am looking at.
Therefore it is better for my reputation to use the word 'see' instead of 'look at'.
Sometimes though I wonder if I have turned into a dirty guy.
To get rid of this painful doubt I talked to men of my generation and to young guys.
Thanks God they reassured me.
'You are a man' they said, 'God has given all men the same feelings and interests'.
After these words I felt more comfortable and less lonely.
Wintertime is different.
Then I just see naked bellies and honestly speaking, I do not like that at all.
Sometimes I feel like shouting:
'Watch your health girl and do not follow that stupid fashion'. But I do not do that; after winter comes spring, temperatures will rise and life will be enjoyable again for normal men, especially for pigeon fanciers, since the racing season starts.
My way of racing changed dramatically since the spring of 2005 and it sometimes makes me think of R Frost.
He wrote in his book 'the road not taken' he once hit a road junction when walking in the woods.
He doubted which way to follow, the road that was walked on so much or the other one. He chose the last option 'and that has made the difference' he said.
As for racing pigeons I had chosen for the easiest road all my life, which means regular widowhood, the same system that most fellow fanciers practised.
Year after year the successes were great but in recent years I began to doubt.
It struck me that many races were won by hens, which was reason for me to accept the challenge and change my racing method completely for several reasons.
- The idea of keeping half of the pigeons I used to have but still being able to race the same amount appealed to me.
- I liked the idea of not to have to drag all those hens to show the cocks any more before and after the race.
- And then there was that 'f'ing' mirror. But I pulled myself together and thought: 'your black hair is gone but you are young enough not to run for new challenges.'
I started racing double widowhood and never regretted it.
Less feed, fewer birds, more oxygen, less feathers in the yard during moulting time, less shit, what a relief and what a joy.
I will never forget the first race in 2005.
I was used to the question 'is that really a cock' when I handed over a pigeon to the man who was in charge of basketing, since my pigeons are smaller than average.
And after I had destroyed a race fellow fanciers often kidded: 'A. S. has bred a family that is so small that they can escape through the bars of the baskets'.
But this time the first bird I handed over to the 'basketing guy' WAS a hen and those birds that followed were hens too.
'What are you going to do now?' he asked me.
'Race hens' I said.
He told the news to others, it spread like wild fire and people were happy.
From now on it would be easier for them to win they figured.
Of course I realised what I did was kind of roulette and I doubted if I would end up in Heaven or Hell.
Thanks God it turned out to be Heaven.
Peter was working in my yard in April 2005, since I am a poor gardener.
When he saw I released the hens at 8.00 a.m. he was surprised that they only got back 2 or 3 hours later.
Peter used to race pigeons himself, so he knew what it meant seeing those hens train like hell.
He could not forget about it and one day he asked if he might come to see the birds get home from the race.
'You are welcome' I said, adding 'if you have a strong heart'.
That day the son shone, the wind was ahead and in the evening the fellow sportsmen cried for their mother.
My hens had destroyed the race and Peter had the time of his life.
They trapped as if they wanted to attack the loft.
One week later he bought himself a loft and' became member of the pigeon club again.
'Double widowhood' is handy for people who have little space; a disadvantage is that cocks seem to be less fit for the system.
But, as I said, I never regretted to choose for the path that scares Belgians so much.
When I am writing this I see 'ladies' with dancing T-shirts on the telly next to me.
I gape, turn my back and reach for a cigarette.
Many things are boring if you see them again and again, even for 'normal' men.
New challenges never bore and that's why I chose for a path that was not walked on so much: double widowhood!