Sometimes I treat myself to dove milk chocolate in bed.
…even when the cutesy message on the inside has the audacity to suggest I need a bath. So what if I did hot yoga and haven’t showered yet?
Tonight’s shameless indulgence got me thinking about doves. This week, hunters across the great state of Texas geared up for the dove hunting opener. As a Minnesota gal, I’m no stranger to seeing a Facebook feed full of enthusiastic hunters showing off their guns, miller lite, and if they have a good eye, animal carcasses.
A friend of mine text me a photo of me on the news up near Fredericksburg where he was hunting yesterday. I was happy to know I could keep them up-to-date on current events while they were out playing “dove hunt.”
I legit asked him…what do people do with the doves once they’re shot?
Well, you eat them, duh. With cream cheese and jalapeño.
Sounds good, I guess.
My confusion about the practical uses of doves stem from Jonathan.
Jonathan was our pet dove growing up.
Let me back up. My grandmother had a pet dove and when she died, we inherited him. As a fourth grader…the prospect of getting to keep our feathered house guest was overwhelming.
Sometimes my mom would put Jonathan’s cage on our front steps so he could enjoy the illusion of being in nature. You know, just so he could kick it outside a bit.
When I got home from school, I’d eagerly say hello to him by reaching my hand inside his cage in order to pet him. Do you know where I’m going with this?
One day, a routine after school pet session turned into bye, bye, birdy. I must have reached my hand in too far, and he was able to fly out.
I walked inside to tell my mom the news. It went something like this:
Me: Mom, Jonathan’s outside.
Mom: I know, I put him there.
Me: But he’s up in a tree.
For 48 hours Jonathan spent time in the cold dark reality of life on the outside. In retrospect…I’m not sure whether he thought two days of life outside the domestication of his cage was awesome or terrifying.
On the eve of the second day of his newfound freedom…Jonathan decided to perch himself on a branch in a low enough proximity for my dad to climb up and grab him.
Jonathan didn’t get to leave the house again after that.
Except for this one time. It certainly was a special circumstance. It’s show-and-freaking-tell day and I’m going to make my mom haul Jonathan to school because he sings beautiful songs and he can survive life in the wild with the best of them.
He was a hit. I was beaming at how well received he was. I even wrote about it in my diary.
My next diary entry (4 days later) wasn’t as rosy.
Dear Diary, Jonathan is sick and he threw up yellow stuff and I am very sad.
The next day I lost my first pet.
I’m not sure exactly whether Jonathan cried before he died. And I’m not certain that doves cry a little bit before succumbing to a gunshot wound at the hand of a hunter, either…but I’m pretty sure Prince nailed it:
How can you just leave me standing?
Alone in a world that’s so cold? (So cold)
Maybe I’m just too demanding
Maybe I’m just like my father, too bold
Maybe you’re just like my mother
She’s never satisfied (She’s never satisfied)
Why do we scream at each other
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry