The flock waited for their snack of bread crumbs. They cooed excitedly. It had a little trill in it. The pigeons waited some more but the usual snack and the reply coo did not materialize from the grill.
A few grunted. Others followed suit. They were unsettled, something was not quite right.
The pigeon’s friend, a prisoner in the basement behind the grill lay unconscious with high fever. He had labored at reclaiming a swamp. The mosquitoes there had infected him with malaria. The prison, located on a small island in the Indian Ocean belonged to a rich autocrat. He provided no medical relief for prisoners. The prison was used to discipline the labor brought there for building the infrastructure in the island.
The pigeons came back three or four times but – no snacks; they did not coo, just grunted and flew away.
Next day the warders found the prisoner dead and disposed his body in the same swamp.
The flock came again and made moaning calls but these three moaned for many days.
Nobody would miss the prisoner except for the pigeons.