Dove love


Birds of a feather f* together

Early this morning a pair of doves landed on the patio gate and perched side by side, shoulders gently touching.

The male of the pair — and we'll get to the determination of that in a moment — puffed out his throat to coo repeatedly.

Although it was unremarked by me, there must have been some signal of assent between them, for the moved to the nearby wall, again side by side. More billing and cooing. Suddenly there was a flutter of wings and the male mounted the female and began going through the universally recognizable motions of love turned to lust.

It didn't last very long, the sex act, but it must have been satisfying. When it was over, the female of the pair lit a cigarette. The male — still pumped up with a rush of testosterone — flew off to seek a higher perch from which to brag on his achievement, as males are wont to do.

Alas, the destination he chose was my patio fan, which happened to be on at the time. The dumb bird flew right into the spinning blades and got a resounding knock on the head. After a moment of in-flight turbulence, he steadied himself enough to set course for a palm tree. Presumably the palm tree looked less menacing. But by the time he got there, he forgot all about his bragging rights and simply cowered on a palm frond. If a thought-bubble had appeared above his head, I'm sure it would have said, "What the hell just happened?"