The capturing begins, and it is softer than I anticipated, dampened by the dunes. Some birds are shot correct in their cages. Some others, startled, descend to the seaside and are shot where they land. They are as well slow to elevate off, as well slow to escape. Above the pops, the adult men posture and cheer. They keep declaring some thing-some thing-American, some thing-some thing-American, accomplishing for what they believe that is my benefit. I really don’t know. It’s possible it is.

Most of the birds are dead, and some are twitching, their beaks wrestling with the air, but no sound is coming out. I wait impatiently for the adult men to plant their gun butts and bottles in the sand, stroll above to them, and wring their necks. They do, and rinse the blood from their hands in the seafoam.

Separating pebbles and diamonds from rubble
Separating pebbles and diamonds from rubble. Courtesy Graphic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the back of the truck, they just take jars of beetroot salad, and we consume our snack with our fingers, the strategies purpling. A single of the adult men talks about maintaining a CB on his nightstand, by which pigeon spotters connect their studies. Two pigeons slump in opposition to a dune, and I swear to God, they switch to each individual other and make eye call, in advance of dying.

The adult men make a seaside fireplace with brush. They convey a pot of seawater to steam and plunge the bird carcasses into it, scalding them to loosen the attachment of feather to skin. I drink much more brandy, and they invite me to assist with the plucking. As we skewer pigeons on to bamboo spears and roast them like marshmallows, the mist thickens, and every single so typically, I see a yellow arm get to by means of it, the hand filthy with pigeon blood and seaside grit, supplying me a different swig. I experience drunk and hungover at the same time.