Caussey's Corner

Billy, the Boy Who Loved Pigeons: A Tragic Texas Tale

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My schedule became even more hectic as the year progressed. Gangs had moved into a neighboring high school, and there were fights every day that spilled onto my campus.

Billy was now spending his time with different teachers, making nice progress in math and reading. We were so excited.

One early Wednesday late in the school year, I received an announcement to report immediately to the principal’s office. When I arrived the principal had his back to me, the nurse was crying, the counselor had his eyes on the ground. My security guard looked me directly in the eye and shook his head. The principal turned and said, “Mr. Caussey have you heard about Billy?”

“No,” I replied.

The nurse began to cry openly. “He is dead,” said the principal. “He was killed over the weekend. He was beaten so badly about the face he was not identified until yesterday. After he was killed they threw his body in the creek near the park. The funeral is at two this afternoon. You must go and represent the school.”

“Sir, I can’t. Please don’t make me.”

“It was only last week, Mr. Caussey, he told me he loved you nearly as much as his pigeons,” said the counselor.

The casket was made of undescriptive brown wood. Billy’s face was covered with a white mask with eye holes and a mouth drawn. Small blond hairs crinkled from under the mask resting on his forehead. The crowd was small. His parents, older sister, police detective, two funeral home employees, and two neighbors. I told them about his school work and about his pigeons.

This was my last year at the school. I was out of education for the next three years, then moved to Dallas and started teaching fifth grade special education. I continued to teach college classes as well.

Billy, the Boy Who Loved Pigeons: A Tragic Texas Tale
Photo: Pixabay