The Pigeon Admissions Officer

Nobody knows how the pigeon ended up in charge of university admissions, but that’s what happened. He was at the top of the pecking order, and as far as the Pigeon Admissions Officer was concerned, he belonged there.

Applicants might be unnerved, but they wouldn’t dare challenge him. Behind the pigeon’s back, some called him a “rat with wings.” But this was unfair because the pigeon, in fact, was descended from a glorious line of majestic dinosaurs. Ok, his toes looked funny and he didn’t sit on a chair. He stood on a stool.

But he knew his job. The PAO was tough but fair.

When I came before him, I was naturally nervous. He showed no expression even when I tried to loosen things up with a joke. He studied my application and periodically looked up at me while reviewing my essays.

He asked me if I had anything to add in my defense. Okay, he didn’t ask in words per se, but his expression made his question clear.

I cleared my throat, playing for time. “I, umm…” I said unhelpfully.

The pigeon turned and fluttered his feathers. If I didn’t come up with something fast, something brilliant, this interview was over.

I was nervous and famished, so I pulled out a small package of Saltines that I’d picked up from the vending machine in the lobby. One cracker dropped and the pigeon scrambled for it.

I’ll be at the university for the next four years on a full scholarship.