The Fruit Dove and What I Can/ Can't Offer

Last night, the winds howled, as though they were desperately seeking their raison d'etre, as though they were in pain. They cried a curtain of rain.

I woke up to find the floor on the 8th storey dormitory mildly flooded and to discover that I've a slight cold. 

While I was collecting pebbles for an artwork, I sauntered past a gesturing French couple. They were pointing to a cluster of feathers on the pavement - about the size of a clenched fist - and shuffling around it.

It was a baby fruit dove. A fluffy ball of feathers. At that moment, I wished for a camera-phone - to capture the enchanting innocence of a fledgling.

The baby dove looked something like this.
The guy pointed to a branch. Above fifty centimeters above us - quite near, really - there was an adult dove. It has a rich emerald plumage, with vermillion bars across its wings and a dusky violet head. A brilliantly coloured bird. We supposed that it was the helpless parent - able to look at its offspring, yet unable to help.

I wanted to return the baby bird to its nest but we couldn't find it. Perhaps, I should have kept it - at least it wouldn't be under the mercy of the elements, or be vulnerable to the rats.

But what could I offer it?

A life behind bars? Vision past metal grills? A home with a pet cat that carries the occasional dead sparrows back? A life of constant unease?

Yet, a life nevertheless?

The parent dove looked something like that.
Even so, how could I carry the fledgling away when its parent was watching with its beady crystal-like eyes? We shifted the moulting baby onto the adjacent grass strip, away from the pebbled pavement where people might have trampled it.

After an art workshop, after mulling for three hours, I thought that I could offer it a home. At least, hopefully,   what it would consider as a home.

When I went back to find the fledgling, it was no longer visible. Perhaps cowering within the thicket of vines. The adult dove was nowhere to be seen as well.

I wish these birds all the best. Just the other day, I glanced out my windows and saw a flock of flying green doves. Everything seems well.
Just discovered, through the magic of Google search, that doves can live up to thirty years in captivity but have an average lifespan of 1.5 years in the wild.

Does this boil down to a choice of a brilliant and carefree, but short, life or a long, endlessly dreary existence?
How To Handle A Baby Bird


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