Written by Joe Dent

Friday, 21 May 2004

image for Sad Fate Of Unsung Heroic Pigeons
Too Much For One Pigeon

Formally secret documents today released to the National Archives show that British Intelligence considered using carrier pigeons to deliver fifty pound bombs to enemy targets.

As primitive as they may seem to our modern day world of smart bombs and satellite misguided missiles, carrier pigeons were incredibly reliable, with a 99.99% success rate for delivering small bits of paper.

It is for this reason that military top brass set up the Carrier Pigeon Committee shortly after World War II, and called in eminent scientists and renowned northern pigeon fancier Alfie Cottoncap.

While the military personnel argued over which bomb would be most suitable to strap to a bird's back and the scientists mulled over how the creatures could be trained to unfasten the bombs with their feet, Alfie Cottoncap spent many happy weeks explaining to a squadron of pigeons the intricacies of the planned test mission.

Unfortunately, the Carrier Pigeon Committee was soon disbanded after it was realised that pigeons couldn't possibly carry fifty pound bombs on their backs. Alfie Cottoncap was distraught.

Speaking shortly before his death in 1990, Alfie said: "Those were the best weeks of my life. When it all came to an end I was devastated. I loved those pigeons. I really loved them. You know what I mean?"

The pigeons selected for the first bomb carrying trials were killed and eaten. The military personnel responsible for the idea were dismissed from the army, and Alfie Cottoncap was told to keep his mouth shut about the whole sorry affair.

Alfie was buried after his death, according to his will with his two favourite pigeons, Elsie and Maureen, who had to be shot.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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