Diamond doves are small, beautiful birds, which can be kept as pets,
‘Wiki-Marion’ told me once. Since I knew she enjoys dispensing
information, I did not think more about it, until she invited me to
see her new pet, “Love”.
A bird of beauty! Light blue-grey head, neck, and breast; dark bill,
spotted wings fringed in black; orange eyes. I fell in love with Love.
He kept bow-cooing, fluffing his wings, strutting, kissing Marion’s
hand. I felt jealous, knowing I could not compete with my friend for
the bird’s affections.
Walking back home, I stopped at the park, looking for doves, ducks and
this winter’s migratory birds. None had the exquisite and delicate
beauty of the diamond dove. I was heartbroken by the time I arrived
home, vowing to stop visiting Marion to avoid the pain.
A few weeks later, she phoned me. “Love died,” she announced.
“These birds seem to fall in love with their owner if they don’t have
a bird partner. I encouraged his bonding to me. But that was all I
could do – I could not let him mate with my hand as if it were a
female! He felt rejected and died of love.”
“It was only an animal. Animals behave differently,” I said, breaking
into hysterical laughter.
I put the phone down struck by an acute pang of unease. Who are the
animals here, I asked myself, my face burning with shame.
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