Anyway, after some rather shoddy teamwork--me clumsily wielding the branch, him doing a lot of weak scrambling and toppling over--the pigeon finally got a good grip with both feet and I gingerly lifted him out of the water.
I guess the poor thing was exhausted because I was just inches from him and yet he didn't flinch--if pigeons flinch. Now that I think about it, it's odd that, while he was in the water, he didn't try to get away from me poking at him with the branch. It was as if he knew I was trying to help him, but I'm sure he'd merely reached a "Whatever" point. And he just kept clinging tenaciously to that tree branch, after I set it on dry ground. It was actually rather sad because, there he was, literally holding on for his life, when from the look of him, I'm sure he'll either die from his original injuries or be feral cat food just as soon as one of those furry beasts who prowl the park catch a whiff of his scent. And I've seen the exploded feathery remains of his pigeon brethren who'd fallen prey around the park many times before.
Anyhow, I stowed the little guy under a bush, still perched quietly on the dead tree branch, but I don't have much hope for him. I know it's silly to get all sentimental about a stupid pigeon--hey, most of the time, I really don't like them, the way they fly up in a panic and beat their dirty, dusty wings right in your face--but, the poor thing, he's going to die terribly, whichever way he goes.
Nature is so harsh, isn't it? Recently, while watching TV with my husband, we came upon what seemed to be a documentary about this fat, fluffy baby owl...for about two minutes before, out of nowhere, a hawk swooped down and promptly de-fluffed it. Good-bye fat, fluffy owlet.
I wish I had something profound to add, after going on *this* long, but, alas, all I can say is I'm glad I'm not a pigeon. Sorry.
And to that pigeon, perhaps still huddled in the darkness under the bush: You were brave and kept a level head, when you could have freaked out, misunderstood my intentions, and drowned slowly in seriously dirty water. Hang in there. And if the cats get you, I hope you don't suffer.