“Damn it,” Chelsi ran down the over grown path to the dove house. Why? Why are you so careless! She thought to herself. Ever since his mate had disappeared, James, a big, grey aggressive male, had been doing his best in tending to his chick. But Chelsi had to admit, he was lacking the touch of experience. Where his mate used to enter the nesting box for feedings, James insisted on remaining the porch so his chick had to perch precariously in the doorway, and stretch it’s neck all the way down to it father. And having now lost its balance the two doves were falling from the house in a frenzy of flapping wings.
“NO Daisy! Stay there.” She scolded the dog who came bounding after her ready to play. She knew Daisy’s intentions would not have been to harm the baby dove now sitting on the ground, but just one playful pounce from the dog would be the end of it. James, after overcoming the startle of hitting the ground, flew back up on top of the house. Distracted for a moment by the abandonment of his father, Chelsi figured she would be able to make a quick rescue, but the nose of her dog burst into her field of vision. She grabbed her quickly by the scruff of her neck. Refocusing on the descending danger, it let lose a few startled chirps, found its feet and took off towards the brush.
“Stay there Daisy!” the dog whimpered, not used to being left out. The brush made the chick safe from the dog, for now, but another danger lurked just beyond.
James cooed an alarm call to the remaining doves, which were already perched atop the thatch of their house intently watching the scene below.
It had been a few hours since Chelsi had seen Norbert, her black, blue eyed kitten, and she knew the brush beyond the bird house had been a popular place for cats to hang out. Daisy was lying down now, and though Chelsi was not sure she would stay, she could not wait much longer. She turned and stepped gingerly into the brush. She stooped down to see if she could see the chick beneath the small branches. When there seemed to be nothing to see she rustled the brush hoping it would flush. Nothing.
Her mind raced with confusion, I just saw it! How far could it have gone? Her heart began to race but she tried to beat it back and prepare herself for loss. When the chick betrayed it’s position with a soft cry for its father. It had made it much farther than Chelsi had assumed. She stepped to bring it back into arms reach, but as she did so the baby dove jumped to its own feet and started off further into the brush. Its legs were short and clumsy by it spread it’s undeveloped wings for balance and began far faster and more agile that Chelsi could have ever imagine. The little chick was able to scurry away from her every step. “Come here you little bugger!”
Following it deeper and deeper into the brush, she imagined different ways she might be able to grab it without braking one of its wings. She thought maybe I’ll just chase it until it tires and stops, then ridiculousness of her situation flashed though her mind as an image. Yup, she sighed, thankfully no ones around to watch. But she wasn’t alone she remember when the sound of crunching leaves got louder and louder. The chick was just leading Chelsi around a tree when it stopped frozen in front of the nose of her dog.
“Daisy! Leave it!” and in a heart pounding moment Chelsi scooped up the startled dove and hugged it to her chest. The body of the chick thumped. Chelsi relaxed. All together, they started back to the dove house.
James sat beside his box, anxiously awaiting the outcome. He cooed a few times when they came into view. “You have to be more careful!” she scolded the single father, after depositing his chick back into the box. It scurried back on to the nest.
Chelsi heard a soft meow from under the dove house. She looked to see Norbert flicking his tail back and forth, “Have you been sitting there all this time?” But Daisy pounced on him before he could answer and with a blink they bounding back in to the brush to play.