McPherson Square, where human folk eat their lunches in warmer times, was all aflutter yesterday with a winged lunch bunch. A well-dressed lady of mature years, scarcely 5 feet tall, was out there with a companion, scattering seed, bread crusts and peanuts to hundreds of pigeons, gulls, grackles and sparrows.
Over the years, we've seen her. But this time we stopped to chat. And we found that she has done this daily for at least eight years, in bad weather and good, and similarly feeds the birds near the State Department.
As we talked, the lady broke open peanuts, luring pigeons to land on the coat sleeve that covered her right arm. "The peanuts are really for the squirrels," she said, "but they don't like to come out in the cold."
Time was, she said, when she and her late husband installed heavy-duty springs in their car so they could go to Leesburg to buy chicken feed--their choice as a bird repast--in lots of 800 pounds. She can't do that anymore, she said, so she is reduced to buying 200 pounds at a time, nearly a month's supply, from a store in Arlington.
Her name? She wouldn't tell, she responded, smiling, as she emptied out the last of her bread crusts and folded the plastic bag that had held them.