Sunday, April 21, 2024


This is a story about a dead mourning dove, but I promise it is not a sad story. What happened was I went out into the backyard, and there were the remains of one of the mourning dove babies in the back corner by the ferns. I was planning to transplant the ferns that day, but first I would have to deal with the dead bird. I am not good with dead things. But who is. 

This one hit me particularly hard. For weeks I was an increasingly invested witness to the Mourning Dove Circle of Life going on in my backyard-- the return of the bird couple, the building of the nest on the back porch, the sitting upon the nest, the very cold nights when I'd worry it was too cold out there, or worse, snowing, or worse-worse, a tornado, and through it all, the mother bird sat there, 

sometimes poofing up her body to twice its size to cover her eggs, her non-blinky eyes staring right at me whenever I peeked out. And then, finally, the hatching, the feeding, the babies flying out of the nest and hanging around in the herb garden, the parents close by and then gone, and only the two babies left pecking under the sage and camouflaging themselves in the dried up vegetation. 

A cat must've gotten the bird. Or a hawk. When I ran inside to tell my husband, he said, Maybe it's okay. Maybe it's not dead. Oh, it's dead, I said. 

I went back out and tried not to look at the mess straight on, while nearby, the sibling baby bird cooed alone, and it made me sad all over again. What was the point of it, the building and sitting and feeding if it was all going to come to this in the end.

I know. I promised this would not be a sad story, but here we are. Wait, my husband said, are you writing about the dead bird? Well, what else am I going to write about, I said. 

How you went out with your friends Friday night. 

(Okay, true. It was a meet up at a local brewery with my co-workers to toast to the union we have been trying to organize for the past two years, a rehashing of events that led to this point, as well as a nice reminder of why I love these people and how much I love what I do at the library.)  

And you're going out of town next weekend to visit a friend. (True.) And you hung out for half the day at the book festival downtown where you got to see more friends. (Also, true.) 

See. My husband said. This is really a story about friends. 

I laughed. (I was thinking of one of the author friends I spoke to at the festival, how happy he was sitting there signing his books but took a moment to tell me he likes reading my weekly posts and asked me what I was going to write about next, and I said, I don't know, You? as a joke, but then I remembered that I had written about him once, or more specifically, I wrote about his socks and when I reminded him of that story, he immediately pulled up his pant leg and showed me his socks.)

But the bird, I said to my husband. What about the bird?

The bird was a friend too.   


A friend's fun socks

Two bird friends

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