Sunday morning dawned wearing a foggy cloak and with air thick enough you could drink it. The temperature outside was pleasant enough that the humidity wasn’t choking. I greeted the day with a smile.
It took two hours for that smile to be wiped from my face. I have a neighbor; a bony thin, shaved head, scarecrow of a man who owns a pelt gun and likes to shoot doves. Now, I am well aware that mourning doves are considered game birds. I understand people hunt them to eat. I don’t have much of a problem with that. (Especially with the way grocery prices have risen.)
However, I live in a subdivision inside city limits. The elderly woman directly across the street, has a bird feeder in her front yard and I some times toss out old bread for whatever wants it. There are many birds in my neighborhood and almost just as many cats. The two seem to mostly coexist except for the occasional blue jay corpse I find half eaten on my door step. (The blue jays delight in stealing cat food off the porch. So this may be a case of it’s in my bowl, I’m going to eat it.)
I looked up from my computer and out the window Sunday morning. I was not happy to see my scarecrow of a neighbor walking down the street, swing his pelt gun around like a color guard from a bad marching band. In fact I saw red. I don’t like people shooting any type of gun in near my home, but especially if they don’t respect the weapon. And yes, a pelt gun is a weapon. It can kill, as Mr. Dove-killer proved.
I watched from my window as he looked to the power lines searching for prey. Finally sighting a target, he shot at a dove two houses down. It took him at least four tries to kill the poor thing. (I know he hit it a couple of times before he killed it because I saw feathers fly.)
Mourning doves mate for life. Life for them, in the wild, can be up to 10 years but they have a high mortality rate. Often chicks don’t make it through their first year but they are not endangered or anything.
I would like to say that I stepped out of the house and confronted the man. This isn’t the first time I’ve wanted to. But calmer heads than mine have cautioned me otherwise, because if he can kill a bird what is to stop him from killing a cat? So instead I seethed from inside the house and sat down to write about it.
I should also say that I have other reasons to dislike this neighbor and those reasons may also be fueling the anger I feel.
Him and his family have a black mongrel on a chain in their front yard. My mom has sneaked over to their house to untangle the animal from its chain and to give it water in the Summer. Its a sweet dog but not cared for. I like animals. I don’t like people who neglect them.
There is a low speed limit in residential areas for a reason. Children play up and down my street. My children play in our drive way. These neighbors however, like to squeal tires and burn out of their drive way getting up to 50 mph.
At 2am, 3am, 4am, ect. I am often woken up by revving motors. There are always three to four cars in their driveway. I used to like to sit on my front porch steps and star gaze. I can’t do that any more because of the spot light in the yard across the street. My dad was a mechanic. I understand about late nights trying to get a car fixed…but every night?
Right now my hope is that they will move. I think they are renting the house rather than have bought it. If they actually own the home and are planning on staying for good…*sigh* I pot can only boil so long before it over flows.