Of Serpents and Doves

A Handmaid News

Recently the weekday Gospel had Jesus giving his disciples instructions before sending them out to preach and he warned them that they would be as vulnerable as sheep amid wolves adding that they needed to be as shrewd as serpents and as simple as doves. 

So, we thought it a good time to share some photos of the most recent brood of Rock Dove squabs from a rather productive Mom and Dad dove on our porch. While they usually have over a half dozen hatchings a year, this is the first time we were able to catch the fledgling squabs on camera as doves mature rapidly while getting stuffed by Mom and Dad on crop milk. They quickly leave home to make room for new siblings.
 
We also share a photo of our black snake. We have not given him a name. He does an excellent job with rodents, sometimes eggs and hatchlings, and mainly getting our indoor cat Gunther into a small fit. He rarely is seen and his breakfast acquisitions are often silent and stealthy. He has helped himself to the flycatchers’ nest, the doves’ nest, and the wrens’ nest at times.
 
Any lessons here? The snake has to eat, of course. The birds have to eat, too. But the snake depends on the birds, not the other way around. He’s relying on their absence to get a meal of their helpless chicks and squabs. While the birds cannot really be credited for not stalking the snake, they could use more cleverness in outwitting him when they must be away from those baby birds who must be fed yet also protected. Simple doves don’t stalk, don’t take advantage of another’s neglect or weakness. They focus only on the squabs.