I brushed too close to him - it scared the pigeon off his wrist.
He was standing alone against a telephone exchange box, waiting for the bus on the High Street, alone except for the pigeons at his feet, pecking around his bags of shopping. He wore horn-rimmed spectacles and a beanie, and clenched a fine pipe between his teeth. And somehow, although the street milled with people, he had coaxed and cooed a black-feathered bird up to eye-level, where he was expertly inspecting it.
I was aware of him as I dodged traffic to leap onto the kerb: one second - a perfect picture. We made eye contact. Then I scared the bird.
I told E about it this morning. "Flying vermin!" she declared, a reflection of popular opinion.