Dave made dinner for our next-door neighbors, Chris and Linda, on Sunday night. The meal required toast points, which meant trimming crusts and shaping bread, creating a lot of crusty leftovers.
Throwing out the trimmings seemed wasteful, and thus not an option. The Moroccans taught me that bread should be respected. No matter where you go in Morocco, you'll see chunks of yesterday's bread left on doorsteps for poor people, or -- if it's really stale -- for goats or even dogs.
So I put the bread in an electric-blue plastic bag and tucked it away, planning to take it down to the Grand Union Canal on Monday to feed the ducks.
When I got to the canal on Monday, though, I was surprised to find copious amounts of bread already floating in the water, and nary a duck nearby. It looked like someone had dumped a restaurant-sized bag of dinner rolls. Adding my modest stash seemed like overkill. So I decided to walk the towpath a bit, until I found some potentially hungry birds.
After a couple hundred yards, I came upon a pair of lazily swimming Canada geese, and I pitched them some crusts. They swam over and had a nibble. Two coots frantically paddled to the scene, sampled one or two cubes of bread, and frantically paddled away again. (Coots do everything frantically.) The geese drifted off too, seeming distinctly unappreciative of the soggy cubes that remained in the water. (Maybe they'd already visited the dinner rolls.)
A bit farther along I fed some pigeons, but feeding pigeons is risky business, because in two seconds flat a pair of birds will turn into 500 and you'll have your eyes pecked out, a la Alfred Hitchcock. So I returned home, still with about three-quarters of my blue bag of bread.
At this point, I should have just thrown it out. But even though I knew I was being ridiculous, I just couldn't do it. So yesterday I took my remaining bread to Kensington Gardens, and sprinkled it beneath some trees. Birds or squirrels -- maybe even rats -- would surely find it there.
I never imagined that pesky bread would be so hard to get rid of!
(Photos: Horse chestnut trees in Kensington Gardens, yesterday.)