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     It was about 6am and I could hear all this raucous in the small green yard right in front of my townhome. It was unlike anything I had ever heard, a true fight in the natural world you sometimes unexpectedly come across. I wondered what on earth was going on, so I opened the front door to see what was happening. There I discovered a battle between a flock of doves and one giant blackbird.  The doves, however, were sadly shrieking more out of fear and anguish than defense.

     There in the grass was a young baby dove cowering in the well-manicured lawn as the other doves stood frightened all around him, making sounds of anguish and pain. The giant blackbird seemed oblivious, almost wallowing in their defenselessness, as it defiantly poised itself to make a death blow and kill the young dove in one fell swoop.

     It was a horrifying scene, so I automatically screamed out at the top of my lungs (yes the other town-homers were probably half-asleep thinking I was giving hell to my poor boyfriend) “Stop you rotten bastard!”

     That moment seemed to unfurl in slow motion, as the blackbird stopped in mid-air in a state of frozen animation as all the other doves suddenly puffed up their chests, started screeching and kicked his ass; thus allowing the young bird to fly free. I am aware I interrupted the delicate chain of survival of the fittest, but it was so sad to see something so innocent potentially die such a bloody death.  It taught me something though, something we often forget.

     Even in the animal world, there sometimes needs to be encouragement in order to find your inner-strength. The way those doves puffed up their chests when I screamed was like a new thing to them, perhaps that’s where we get the sayings “He’s just a lover not a fighter” or “When doves cry”. Doves are peaceful creatures, but sometimes even they need to fight and, unless I had intervened, they would have probably not found the courage.

     This event happened in the Spring, but ever since those doves are always watching me. They sit on my balcony and stare in the window, they coo when I come out the front door, and if I’m on the treadmill, they sit on the corner of the roof across the way and confusingly watch me for 40 minutes. The other evening I went into my living room and two were sitting on a tree branch intensely staring in at me. Maybe they think I am one of them now, maybe I have become their great dove leader! Haha Whatever is going on they make it clear they are watching me, perhaps because I once watched over them.



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