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I drew the pencil sketch of me, above, just to capture that particular smile. But look at my smile and then look at the mourning dove's smile. Hers is so much better. Oh, drat. My son asked me what app I used for the drawing: a No. 2 pencil, a piece of paper, and a mirror.
The dove built her nest in my carport. She grew to trust me, so I could come close and take pictures. This was her good year. Her nestlings learned to fly, and she, her mate, and both baby birds flew off, healthy. The following year, she was back. She had two eggs, ready to hatch, when I saw our neighbor's big, fat, very old cat pounce out of the bushes. He grabbed something by the neck, and then walked proudly back to his lair. I hoped his victim wasn't her. But shortly after, her mate stood a foot away from the nest and mourned. He shouted "koo kurikoo koo koo" over and over again, as loud as he could, for eighteen hours straight. Then he flew off. One year later, he was back. Again he stood one foot away from the nest, and he shouted "koo kurikoo koo koo," this time for four hours. Then he left and we never saw him again.
I've been writing fiction since I was seven. While still in elementary school, I read a children's science magazine that described Roger Ravelle's thoughts on global warming. He was Al Gore's professor. Many years later, I decided that we all should use the best skills we have to fight global warming. I'm a skilled novelist, so I'm writing a global warming novel. I named it after the dove who came into my life to mourn this beautiful, smiling mother bird.