The Animals of Kathmandu Durbar Square

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Wandering into the center of Durbar Square in Kathmandu, you’re like to see pigeons — enough to put Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” to shame for its relative paucity of pigeons.

Of course, it no longer surprised me to see a cow in the midst of it all. The one amid the pigeons, however, reposed in the sun, an air of calmness around it. Was this its home? Was it the protector of Durbar Square? It seemed to have a nice life, and might have been an auspicious sign.

A few locals and tourists milled about, minding their own business and taking photos, respectively, when a young Nepalese girl, about 6 years old, made her way into the pigeon-populated square with her arms extended, just to watch the birds scatter into the air — but only for a moment — and return just as quickly.

The pigeons, thankfully, were peaceful throughout it all.


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