Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thoughts from Cathy

An Inspirational Story
By Cathy Collar

The Mourning Dove
By Cathy Collar  

The beautiful mourning dove stared thoughtfully at the large snowflakes as they slowly drifted to the ground.  It would soon be the start of a new year.  Today though was the start of her new life, a life without her mate.  She was not surprised that this had been their final year together.  They were both near the end of their life cycle.  For ten glorious years they had lived a very prosperous life.
She floated from her perch, following the snowflakes to the soft white ground.  Pecking through the snow, she found the corn seeds.  As she nibbled on one her thoughts drifted to their last days together.  He hadn’t felt well all year.  Their morning flights had lessened each day until he just couldn’t go anymore.  Then yesterday morning he flew off and hadn't returned.  She called for him all day, but her tender coos had not been answered.  She knew then, he would not come home.    
The roar from an engine, brought her back from her trance.  She bolted into the tree, safe from harm.  Alert to any sign of danger she listened and watched the vehicle come to an abrupt stop.
A young girl hopped out onto the pristine snow. 

“Daddy did you see it?” she squealed.
“See what?” asked her father pulling the sack of corn seed out of the pickup.
“The beautiful dove that was feeding when we drove up.”  Amy looked up into the dense foliage of the tree.  “I hope we didn’t scare her away.  She is so pretty!”
The dove peeked through the branches and studied the young human below.  “Coo, Coo,” she said.  “You are quit pretty too, little one!”
“Daddy! Did you hear that?  She is talking to me!”
“Now what makes you think she is talking to you?” Asked her dad.  “She is probably calling for her mate.”
“Cooooo,” the mournful cry escaped from the dove’s throat as see shuffled deeper into the foliage.  She just wanted to be alone, alone with her memories of him.
“Daddy, I think she might have lost her mate.” Said Amy.  “That coo sounded awfully sad.” 
David glanced into the tree.  “ I see her, but not her mate.  Well, they do mate for life, so she could be missing him.  This winter has been harsh.  It’s been hard on all of the wildlife.  That’s why we fill the feeders and leave a little of the crop up for their protection.  Unfortunately we cannot save them all.”  He lifted the bag pouring the seed into the feeder.  “Let’s go.  We have more feeders to fill and chores to do.”
Amy was still searching for the dove.  “We can’t leave her here alone, dad.  It’s Christmas and she has lost her mate.  It wouldn’t be right to leave her out here by herself!”
“Amy, she is a wild bird.  She will be fine.  She might even find a new mate. They sometimes do,”
“Squawk!!”  The angry sound echoed through the trees.  “Another mate! Never!”
“Daddy, go on ahead and pick me up on your way back.  I want to stay with her for awhile.”
“Okay.  But stay right here.  If she files away, I don’t want you to follow.  You hear me?”
“Yes daddy.  But I don’t think she’s going anywhere.  She is too sad.”
As David drove away Amy sat down on a log underneath the tree.  She looked down and started talking.  The dove could not hear her, so she hopped to a lower branch.  Silly child she thought.  Who are you talking to?  There is no one here, but you and me.  She cocked her head, but she still couldn’t hear.  A few more branches down and at last the soft voice filled the air.
“God.  I know you can hear me, because I am out here in your trees alone.  Well not completely alone.  You see, your lovely dove is up there somewhere in your tree and she is feeling very sad right now.  That is why I am talking to you.  I think she lost her mate and she is all alone.  Since I don’t speak dove and I know you do, I was wondering if you could give her a message from me?  I know you are very busy, but it is Christmas and I really don’t think she should spend it alone.”
“What! Thought the dove.  “Was this little girl really praying for her?”
She hopped a little closer.
“I know you can’t tell me, so I will leave the message in your hands and if you answer it I will know.”  Amy drew a piece of paper and pen from her pocket and wrote.
Dear Mrs. Dove.  I have heard your sad cry and it breaks my heart.  I know you miss your mate and have no other family since your babies have all flown away.  I want you to become a member of my family.  We will love you, feed you and keep you safe from harm.  You can live in the tree by my house or even in the barn if that would keep you warmer.  I promise to keep your feeder filled and visit you everyday.  Please come and stay with me and be my very special friend.  I will hang a pine cone feeder from a red ribbon in the tree by my house tonight.  I hope to see you in the morning,
                                                                                                            Love, Amy
As Amy stuck the note under a rock, her dad’s pickup popped over the hill. 
Amy had hung her pine cone feeder and said another little prayer before going to sleep.  She woke early the next morning to the sound of elated cooing outside her window.  Grabbing her robe, she ran to the tree.  There the dove sat on the pine cone feeder and in her beak was a twig filled with bright holly berries,

The dove dropped the twig into Amy’s hands.  “Thank you,” she coooed.

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