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  • Mourning The Mourning Dove

    May 6, 2009

    As quickly as she came into my life, she was gone.

    Yesterday morning, I checked on my sweet little dove.  She was sitting quietly in her nest in the Carolina jasmine, just the same as ever.

    Although she did not seem thrilled to see me, she did not glare at me either.  I suspect that is only because the dove lacks the ability to glare or cast disparaging looks. With no eyebrows, the dove is stuck with an all purpose blank expression, a lot like Jessica Simpson.  Otherwise, upon the sight of me, she probably would would have narrowed her eyes and curled her lips. If she had lips.  Another problem.  It’s also probably good that doves can’t make gestures. The symbol of peace indeed.

    So early this afternoon, I went outside to get the mail and I couldn’t stop myself from toddling up the driveway to check on her again.  I was surprised to find that her nest was empty! Very surprised. No dove, no eggs, no feathers. Nothing. No Tom, not even a note.

    I assumed that when the eggs hatched that she would hang around until she saw her young out of the nest and then she would fly off into the sunset, but not before perching on my kitchen window ledge, tapping on the glass with her delicate slender beak and then casting me a knowing and grateful look for all I had done for her.  I would dab a tear from my eye with a dish towel and wave her off. “Go on you crazy bird,” I would say, “Get out of here! Go see the world!” And then she would spread her wings to fly, but pause one last time, wink her round black eye at me and then be off.  I would rush to the window and wave as she melted into the sky and became a dot in the distance.

    Or something like that.

    When I told Sean that the dove was gone, he said he thought it was my fault, that she had left because I had disturbed her.

    Perhaps so.  I was a terrible landlord, I know that – nosy and overly interested. I was Mrs. Roper, not in a caftan, but in a frighteningly sad pink chenille robe.

    For more than a week she had put up with cold rain, hail and high winds.  But it was me dropping in on her and asking all kinds of personal questions that sent her over the edge. She just couldn’t take another day.  Perhaps  it all became too much and she threw herself in front of a cat. We will never know.

    And now (dramatic pause, dropping chin to chest) I must mourn my mourning dove.

    No, really. I’ll be fine. (sniff sniff) Carry on.

    ~The end~


    1. Margaret says:

      She just left to spare you the pain of parting. Besides, she was tired of sitting and those eggs were lumpy, etc.

      May 6th, 2009 at 8:56 am

    2. Margie says:

      Incubation period, two weeks. But supposedly nestling period, 12-15 days. Maybe she and her babies took flight. Maybe? Hopefully?

      May 6th, 2009 at 9:18 am

    3. Tom says:

      Maybe if you set up a little “for sale” sign on the nest, you’ll get new tenants. Just get a good telephoto lens for your camera so you can observe them from a non-threatening distance.

      May 6th, 2009 at 9:43 am

    4. Karen {simply a musing blog} says:

      {sniff sniff} Mourning with ya.

      May 6th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    5. janine says:

      Dove, you are such an ungrateful bitch.

      PS: Pink Chenille is so much better than a caftan. I mean, really…no wonder Mr. Roper ran, right?

      Ok, in Dove’s defense, perhaps it’s like when you are in labor with your first child and you think ……Nah. I don’t think I want to do this afterall….

      Only she actually went with her instincts.

      Dove, we could learn things from you.

      May 6th, 2009 at 10:21 am

    6. Heidi says:

      Had the eggs already hatched? If not, maybe they were blown out of the nest and, with her little family gone, she had to move one.

      Our mourning doves put up with a lot more than a lady in a pink chenille robe; so I don’t think it was you. I think something happened to her babies.

      * * *
      I don’t know Heide. I think it was me. A little of me goes a long way. I am an acquired taste. I think the dove OD’d on Antique Mommy. I LOVED HER TO DEATH! WAAAAH!

      May 6th, 2009 at 11:28 am

    7. Shelly W. says:

      Sorry about the dove. The part I thought was most interesting in this post, though, was when you said Sean thought it was your fault. Get used to that idea, AM. Pretty soon everything will be your fault.

      May 6th, 2009 at 11:44 am

    8. Megan (FriedOkra) says:

      That scene you describe sounds very much like the final scene of the second Stuart Little movie. Please don’t watch that movie anytime soon, okay?

      May 6th, 2009 at 11:49 am

    9. Laurie says:

      She wanted a clean break, so you could heal quicker… I am sure.

      BTW, I am so glad I found your blog. You make me laugh. Not today, of course, I would never laugh at your pain. Except the part about you and your bathrobe. Then I laughed out loud. But not at the rest of it. No sir. Thanks!!

      May 6th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    10. Bill McNutt says:

      I had a similar experience with a bat. He had nested inside the vent of a cabin I was in for the weekend. We checked in in the late afternoon, and we noticed he was behind the screen. Bats are really cute when they’re sleeping. He’ looked like a little mouse with wings. As we moved our stuff in, he would occasionally squirm and turn around.

      “Shut up you guys, I’m trying to sleep!”

      Come sunset, he lit out for parts unknown, never to return.


      May 6th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    11. mannequin says:

      Awww, I was all involved in her life as well you know. After that post the other day. Do you see the mess that your meddling has caused? Now all of us have to pay.

      Hey! We both wear pink chenille robes, are we neighbors? Gosh I hope not since I wrote a most disparaging post about my neighbor..

      Anyway dear, let this all be a lesson. Just pull those curtains and stop snooping.

      May 6th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    12. Jennifer says:

      But you loved her! You really loved her! How could she leave you like that???

      May 6th, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    13. Iota says:

      No. She’s just testing your commitment. She’s waiting to see if you still go and talk to the jasmine, even though she’s not there. You gotta keep going out to that jasmine in your pink chenille robe, and talking to it, when strangers are passing by, and if you do that for long enough, she’ll come back.

      May 6th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    14. The G-Ma says:

      Maybe it was an hysterical pregnancy. After some pssychiatric intervention, she realized she was healed and took off for Las Vegas.

      I spurted coffee from my nose when I read “threw herself in front of a cat.” Now I have a vaguely sticky keyboard

      AM, you do feel bad about this. You had a bond of sorts with that dove, a bond of empathetic sisterhood.

      And, sadly, Shelly is right. Soon the ills of the world will be traced to you-know-who.

      May 6th, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    15. Monique in TX says:

      She and her family may have been the victims of a cat. We had a family of baby cardinals disappear that way last spring. One day they were there, the next…nothing.

      * * *
      I don’t know if I prefer to think that some cat got to my dove or if she just got to the point where she couldn’t stand to see me coming up the driveway.

      May 6th, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    16. Michele says:

      So my kids aren’t the only ones in America who blame their mother for everything????
      I absolutely LOVE your blog. I love how you can make us laugh at a sad story. Thanks for sharing.

      May 6th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    17. Faerylandmom says:

      Awww…I know how that feels. 🙂

      May 6th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    18. mythoughtsonthat says:

      Oh! I don’t think she left because of you- really!

      May 6th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    19. Beverlydru says:

      Well, now it’s abundantly clear why they are mourning doves and not morning doves.
      This was an interesting saga. Maybe it’s not over.

      May 6th, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    20. Jenny-Jenny says:

      It was time.

      May 6th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    21. Laura says:

      Maybe she is condo hunting in Orlando. The kids have “left the nest” and she is on to sunny Florida.

      I am recovering from hysterectomy and tried not to cry as I laughed out loud at your blog. You made me smile today. Thank you.

      May 8th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    22. Pat says:

      Sad but – funny! “Threw herself in front of the cat…”

      May 8th, 2009 at 5:29 pm

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