Beak Cool

  I went over to the barn today to get the big tractor to mow the fields and

this is what I found instead:

    As I drove around the side of the barn I saw this white dove sitting right up against the whitewashed sides of the dairy barn. I stopped the tractor, got off, and approached the little thing, certain that it would try  to fly away. It appeared very calm until I tried to reach my hand out towards it and then it jogged away to the left and then to the right. I remembered how we used to corner heifers who’d escaped the pasture by holding both arms out to the side very wide and pushing in towards them in the direction we wanted them to go and sure enough, I soon had the little bird securely in my hands.

  It didn’t fight me at all and I wanted to release it after making sure it was not injured but there are a half dozen feral barn cats who make this area and the smelly dumpster their home and I knew this dove wouldn’t stand a chance against them. I held the bird close to my chest, aware that I may be putting myself at risk for some horrid avian virus or at the least some nasty bird lice but I couldn’t leave it there. I covered its head with the tail of my T-shirt and drove slowly back across the road to home.

  I remembered how my youngest daughter (you know her as Birdpress) was always rescuing wild animals and we had an assortment of cages and hutches in the basement long ago so I set off clutching the dove to my chest to find it a home. Sure enough there was a large cage down there just right for a frightened bird.

  With a tiny souffle dish filled with water and one with birdseed I placed the dove in the cage and left her on the deck in the shade from the old maple tree. It seemed happy and even ate and drank and sat calmly watching me as I went about my yard work.

  I think I should post a notice in the newspaper to see if anyone misplaced a white dove. If no one claims him/her I guess I have one animal at least on this old farm who needs me. It’s been a long time….