It seems to me that just about all of the instructions you need to get through life can be found in the bible. Perhaps I’m crazy but I think that somewhere in there it says that we would be better off teaching a man to fish than feeding him a fish for one day. This might be in the book of Hesitations, but I can’t be sure.
Anyway, I’m certain that the lesson is in there somewhere, even if I have gotten it all wrong so far. The point is that we are all better off teaching others to take care of themselves rather than giving them a hand out day after day, year after year.
So, how did I arrive at this topic for this week’Easy, the birds. You remember that movie that Hitchcock put out years ago’Well, that’s the scene at our house. We are overloaded with doves. The majestic birds of peace.
And the majestic birds of poop.
Several weeks ago, when the first cold snap came through, I took pity on the poor creatures and thought I would do a good thing and fill up all of the bird feeders. I usually don’t do this until the spring, but for some reason I broke my own rule and loaded them up the brim. This was a big mistake on my part.
Now we have flocks of peaceful doves roosting all around our house dining at the conveniently placed feeders scattered throughout the property. They have become almost tame. It’s almost like those pigeons you see in from of St. Peters cathedral in Rome. They walk along side of us as if we are their new found friends.
Which I guess we are. Although I don’t want to be and I didn’t mean to be.
I cannot help but wonder how these birds survived all of these winters when I didn’t feed them’Where have they been up until now’I’m sure this species has been around for thousands of years, after all doves are mentioned in the Bible. You think John the Baptist put out food for the ones he had’ Probably not, come to think of it, he could have just told Jesus and birdseed from heaven appeared just like the loaves and the fishes.
I wouldn’t mind them so much if they were just a little more careful about their toilet habits. The ones that roost out in the trees in the yard don’t bother me. The ones that roost over the walkways and my roof need to move as soon as possible. Our walkways, porches and roof are spattered with daily presents from our feathered friends. We have to wash these on a regular basis to keep the place looking nice since our house is for sale. The birds have either not gotten the message that they are causing me a lot of grief and extra work or they simply don’t care. I personally think it’s the latter.
The water coming into our house has about 100 lbs, of pressure. I’ve taken to going outside about 4 in the morning and spraying the trees with our hose in the hopes of driving them away to somewhere else, like our neighbors. Not the ones we like, the ones we don’t get along with.
I’ve had zero success. My loving wife thinks if I continue to spray the trees with the water hose in this freezing weather, their little claws with freeze closed on the branches and they will be stuck there. Perhaps they will freeze all over. One can always hope.
I finally found my pellet gun and thought about just popping off a few pellets into the trees just before I go to bed, but then my good wife reminds me that ‘these are the birds of peace.’
I’m thinking these are the same kinds of birds I have hunted for years when dove season opens. What, pray tell is the difference’I suppose I could just unlimber my old twelve gauge and knock down some for dinner, but the neighbors are sure to complain and besides there’s probably a law against doing such as this.
There’s a lesson to be learned here for all of us. I’m certain those birds were doing fine for themselves before I came along. Now, I am the symbol of their nutritional bailout. For these birds, I am equal to the government. They will probably be around for years to come, unable and unwilling to leave my yard to fend for themselves.
I cannot allow this to happen. I cannot deprive these creatures of their God given talents to go out into the world and seek out their fortunes or failures without any help from me or my family. In short I will cease the food hand out program I have started. I know this will be a great shock to them and hope they can see the wisdom of my decision, but it must be done. For their own good’.
I will keep you informed as to my progress. Wish me well.