Something that later made me think, "Wow, did I really do that?"
Yes, I'm reminded daily, I did.
I was on my way home from town, pulling onto our dirt road, when something in my peripheral vision caught my eye.
A fluttering, floundering dove.
In an instant I did the following:
I assessed that he/she was hurt.
I saw a stack of Taco Bell napkins on the floor of my van.
I noticed The Man of the House's empty lunchbox sandwiched between the front seats.
I then proceeded to hop out of my vehicle into a straddle-like lope as I caught the dove.
I carefully nestled he/she into the lunch box and drove home.
Did I have a plan? NO.
Did I know who to call and what to do?
I called home and talked to my daughters. In the less than 3 minutes it took me to get home, they had a crate prepared.
We put the dove in the small crate with water and some wheat kernels. After reading up on what they can eat, I discovered I really had no need to purchase anything special. We've been giving her greens, wheat kernels and raw sunflower seeds, mostly.
We also learned that's it very difficult to determine if a dove is male or female.
So difficult, in fact, that unless they lay eggs, the only person who can tell the difference is another dove...and even then they can be wrong.
So we call him Hamish. After Hamish MacBeth mysteries that I've enjoyed.
He's been kept in a warm place and has been healing.
(His foot was hurt and he could barely hobble.)
Healing so well, in fact, that we thought it was time to see if he was ready to be released.
He's been walking perfectly for the past 5-7 days, the snow was melted and the sun was out in all its glory.
So, we took him out as a group...ready and excited to watch him fly away to freedom.
Proud to have taken part in his recovery.
We set the crate on the ground and opened the gate. We waited.
He stepped right out as if he knew he belonged in the great outdoors, not cooped up as a caged bird. I thought of Maya Angelou's poem.
We waited, holding our breath.
He walked along, in no apparent hurry to fly.
We tried to help- picking him up and giving him a gentle toss into the air.
He cried 'mayday' and made an emergency landing.
Not a graceful landing. ; )
It was apparent to all of us that something is wrong with one of his wings.
He then walked right over to his crate and went back inside.
During our school day, I've been wondering; "What do I do with a little gray dove? "
"Who might want a little gray dove?"
And then, the lyrics to Johnny Preston's 'Running Bear' song came to me and have been ingrained ever since.
Of course, we have a little gray dove, not white.
Still, it's funny how one thought can easily lead to another. And pretty soon you're looking up the song for your kids to hear.
And recalling the deep romantic sadness you felt as a young girl when you imagined the events of this song.
From that song, I thought of an old Steve Martin movie, based on the story of Silas Marner by George Eliot.
In the film, there is a great scene with Steve Martin and his daughter dancing to 'Running Bear'.
It's a touching movie and years since I've seen it. I may have to check my local library!
In the meantime, anyone want a pet dove?
Maya Angelou - I know why the caged bird sings
A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky. But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.