…At The Kamikaze Dove Incident.
To be fair, when I responded to the message on the neighbourhood Whatsapp group, I genuinely thought that I was heading towards a break-in. That’s what the message said was happening, and so that’s what I thought was happening. The message was from the house owner, and he was on his way home right now. How did he know that there was a break-in happening? I had no idea: but we can sort those details out later.
I got to the house in question pretty quickly, even though I was wearing flops and no-one is at their most speedy when they’re wearing flops. The 200m world record remains intact.
When I got there, there was no sign of a break-in – be it either ongoing or ongone [Is this actually a word – Ed.] and so I made sure that the local security company were on their way and was actually amazed when they arrived with three police vans right behind them.
I didn’t know we had three police vans in our area.
The police were straight over the gate, making a mockery of the razor wire and spikes that people think makes their property impenetrable (especially if you’re wearing flops), and headed into probable danger, their guns not drawn.
Except it wasn’t dangerous at all.
Long story short, a dove (probably a Red-Eyed dove) had hurtled through a glass window in the house (and here I quote the owner of the property upon his return) “and busted himself to smithereens”. The dogs went mad (dogs will do this when a dove comes into the house through a window – be it open or closed) and the domestic who was home alone (well, apart from the dogs and now a shredded dove) heard the smashing window and the barking dogs and panicked.
This was a completely reasonable reaction: this is South Africa, after all.
Everyone was fine. Apart from the dove, which was busted to smithereens.
We’ve all had birds hit our windows before, but generally, they bounce off. I think it’s likely that this particular dove was being chased by our local black sparrowhawk. We have had a couple of explody dove incidents over the last few years which we have caught on our CCTV cameras (on one occasion, the dove exploded when it actually hit one of the cameras) and both of those were sparrowhawk assisted. It’s amazing the speed that a dove can achieve when it’s being closely followed by a kilo of raptor. It’s just sad that they can’t manage their steering at the same time.
And so all’s well that ends well: a false alarm, yes, but no break-in, a decent neighbourhood response and a bit more business for the local glazier. And some dove pie for dinner.