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Morning Dove - Poet Smith

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 3:17 pm    Post subject: Morning Dove - Poet Smith Reply with quote

Touching little poem, with a gentle message. It's got some lovely lines -- >>The night’s last stars winked westward,<< -- >>The distant cry of unseen geese,<< Shouldn't it be "Mourning Dove," by the way? I'm told the dove's marital fidelity is somewhat overrated. They will pick up with a new mate in time if they lose the old one - which makes sense to me.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
Ernest Hemingway
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are correct; it should indeed be Mourning Dove. (Zenaida macroura)

As far as mating for life…

Genesis 8

6 After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark 7 and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.

When the raven did not return, Noah went to the birds of the air and asked if any were willing to go out into the world. When after a time and no one answered, a young dove fresh from the nest volunteered. Her mate knew her to be the stronger flyer, but he was loathed to see her go.
Noah released her with the dawn, and when she returned she reported that the sea still covered the earth. Noah returned her to her nest exhausted and wing sore, vowing to try again in seven days.

On the seventh day Noah once again asked the birds if any would go out into the world, and as before the young dove volunteered. This time her mate pleaded that she not go, he needed her desperately he said, as did their hatchlings, but she could not be dissuaded. Noah released her at first light, and that evening she returned with an olive leaf reporting the waters had started to recede. Noah, his family, and all the animals rejoiced at the little dove’s good news.

The dove and her mate were making plans for when they would leave the ark when Noah came to ask if she would go out into the world one more time and report on the condition of the land. The dove’s mate said absolutely not, two times is enough, if no one else would go then he would. His young mate said however, that she alone knew the way and would once again venture out.

This time however, when she left at dawn the little dove did not return. For seven days Noah and the dove’s mate waited, but she was never seen again. So touched was Noah by the little dove’s strength and courage, and the devotion of her mate, that he asked God to honor the young dove by allowing all her kind just one, lifelong mate. And this is why doves mate for life, a rarity in nature.

A wife’s tale perhaps, but a lovely sentiment never the less.
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