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NO MOURNING

One day a pair of rather small sized pigeons caught my attention by circling the skies around my house. One of them then perched on a sill watched the other glide gracefully in the air with its head down and wings spread-out. Their bobbing heads and mouths preening each other’s feathers told they were courting.
A day later I saw them bringing in twigs and grass blades. Perpetually outraged by the army of pigeons invading my home through the year and continuous maternity beds laid in my planters, my first instinct was to shoo them away. As I went closer I gathered the two of them didn’t quite look like pigeons. I Googled and figured that those were the grey doves, also called Mourning Doves. They are titled that, only because people concluded that their cooing sounds like mourning. Regardless of that these birds are also listed in the protected category of ‘songbirds’ in some places. Therefore the writer within me decided that the preferred genre of their melodies apparently is Pathos and I couldn’t help laughing at the dichotomy presented by a symbol of love. What makes the title more tongue-in-cheek is that these birds are known to be monogamous much like a Hindu marriage.
So it was obvious that the doves had come looking for a site to build a nest and brood. And I sure wanted to witness this. The birds began building their love nest in my yard as I fondly and quietly made observations. In a day the nest was ready and before I could take in all developments, the nest was full already. Both the doves shared their chores and even exchanged their duties without any gender predispositions. The babies grew up and till such time they were ready to fend for themselves the birds nicely played their parental duties. Then one day after a few weeks of chirpy household on top of the nest, I found the nest empty. I had read that doves use a good nest repeatedly so I kept the nest untouched and wished to see them again.
Right as rain, they visited me back and the whole cycle repeated itself. Everything looked well till one evening I sensed an eerie silence around the nest. I went to check and sadly found a dead baby in the nest. The birds were nowhere around. I disposed the remains away and waited to see them visit the nest again. Weeks passed but there was no sight of them. The Mourning Doves were not heard mourning.
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