Elyse had both eyes turned toward it. She took a bite of her sandwich, keeping one hand on her lunch bag beside her.
"Pigeons, they are full of snaffery, all the time, I tell you," her grandfather had said once. "You cannot turn your back on them."
"Is when you are sly, but bold. Is when someone looks away, and boom! You snaffer them, and leave them wondering why they are in the mud and what has happened to their purse."
Elyse had always assumed it was another of his Yiddish words, but when she finally looked it up, years after he died, she found no mention of it anywhere.
The pigeon hopped closer.
"Nu?" she asked it, making a face. "You think this food is for you?"
It seemed to. It cooed, and with a flutter of its wings, came so close she could have stretched and touched it.
Elyse set her sandwich on the bench and jumped to her feet. "Shoo! Shoo! Get out of here. No snaffering my lunch!" She waved her hands at the impudent pigeon.
With an ungainly flapping, it took to the air. Elyse watched it disappear behind the buildings with satisfaction.
Turning back to her lunch, she moaned. Her sandwich was scattered on the cobblestones, with a different pigeon pecking at the tomatoes. Nearby, a third pigeon strutted off with her cookie in its beak.
Elyse plopped down on the bench. Snafferers, she thought crossly. But after a moment, she had to laugh.
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