Others saw a grievously injured pigeon. He saw the most insane way possible to impart wisdom to Japan’s young people.

Many of us have a romanticized view of small-town politicians. Freed from the self-serving squabbling of his fat-cat city slicker counterparts, a rural civic leader can be a real man of the people, taking care of his constituents with the perfect blend of folksy wisdom and patient kindness.

So when a 72-year-old city councilman from the Wakayama Prefecture town of Kinokawa saw an opportunity to provide a valuable life lesson to a middle school student, he didn’t waste time putting together a multi-party committee or lobbying the federal government for funds. He just did what he knew should be done, and stuck that dying pigeon into the schoolgirl’s bicycle basket.

On February 22, a female student at Kinokawa Municipal Junior High School was headed home from school, pushing the bicycle she’d ridden to class as she walked with some of her friends. Suddenly, the city councilman called out to them and approached, holding an injured pigeon that had been struck by a car in his hands. “Something has to be done for the bird,” he said, while placing the creature in the front basket of the girl’s bicycle.

▼ It’s unclear what exactly he expected her to do for it.

The girls were obviously startled, and seeing their reaction, the councilman removed the bird from the basket, and it died soon after. The incident was traumatizing enough that on February 23, the girl said she didn’t want to ride her bike to school, and her parents contacted the administrators, who after talking to the students who’d seen the councilman were able to determine his identity. The councilman admitted to his actions when questioned by the mayor, in what must have been one of the more awkward conversations to ever take place at Kinokawa City Hall.

So what possessed the councilman to do what he did?

“I wanted them to know how precious life is.”

▼ This woman, who has no dead animal in her basket, obviously remains ignorant of the beauty of life.

The councilman has since apologized to the girl and her family, saying “If what I did was an emotional shock for her, I’d like to apologize,” and his use of the conditional “if” indicates that as much as he wants young people to know the value of life, he doesn’t seem to have the firmest grip on how the human mind works.

Source: Livedoor News/Sankei West via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (2, 3)

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