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There was a pigeon who spent much of his time sat on the head of Jan Hus, that had perfected the art of sitting there just so unflinchingly still, all of the tourists who stopped to look at him thought he was a part of the statue.

“Classic Czech absurdists”, they’d say to each other knowingly, as if they understood that sort of thing.

Hus himself was burned to death by the Catholics for heresy of course, many years before. The story that there were many tourists who saw his grisly end and who commented “classic Czech absurdists” at the time, as the flames engulfed his smugly austere robes, remains unverified, if somewhat likely.

Anyway, he once met a completely different pigeon who claimed to have have sat on some of Europe’s greatest monarchs. He’d said that Victoria was wide of shoulder, but her environs were a bit noisy. He said that Tsar Nicholas (though he never specified which Nicholas, and our hero was too diffident to ask) was too narrow at the temples, but the fact he called him “Nicky” seemed a bit over familiar for the first pigeon’s tastes.

He said Leopold the Second was the best.

“Everyone should shit on Leopold the Second” he said. And he added that most would not get, however, be lucky enough to do so.

The first pigeon had thought about this long and hard, and considered if he should maybe leave the head of Hus where he was so happy. Maybe, he thought, he should see the world. But then he also thought that broad-foreheaded families breeding like racehorses wasn’t necessarily so laudable, and everyone knew pigeons were better at racing than them anyway.

He stood stock still as another group of tourists discussed him. They were arguing if he was real.

Which is when he dismissed them as idiots. Not that he moved. That would, he decided, have been absurd.

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