Bill & Coo by Judith Ann Moriarty – The Storyteller

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Since moving to Washington County, I have frequently visitors on my back deck. It essentially faces east to greet the dawn and when spring really gets rolling, a loving pair of doves (too loving perhaps) arrive to bill and coo. For the uninitiated, “bill and coo” describes the foreplay to their frequent coupling, but that’s okay, every shoe has its sock. Right?

My home office is part of my living room, so I am able to view the action on the deck as I sit working on The Storyteller tales. It’s been slim pickings for the birds that swoop to my feeder, only to find it devoid of seed. The reasons for this are two: I decided to cut expenses by cutting back on expensive seed (after all, doesn’t it seem that the birds dine more luxuriously than many of the species Homo-sapiens?) 2. The screen door leading out to my deck is frozen shut and won’t budge so I can feed the birds excessively.

What all this means is beyond me, but when I glanced up from my Storyteller writing, I saw the two (let’s call them Bill & Coo) flap down, perch on the deck rail and warm themselves in the sunny sun of an otherwise cold day. My daughter and I refer to them as the “Whooo Birds,” as their soothing song suggests long ago tunes. Bill the male is clearly in charge of the marriage and he takes his time courting, but not always. If he was my spouse I’d never turn my back. But Coo doesn’t complain. She just turns her back and walks down the rail to escape his attentions.

I read somewhere that doves mate for life and produce others of their kind on a regular basis. There is no such thing as a lonesome dove. It’s only January and it seems a bit early for doves to be around, but I think I may have been influenced by a lavish and over-the-top display of Valentine stuff at Shopko. It’s mind-boggling. You name it, they have it. The sweets alone would kill me. My dad used to rush out and buy a box of Russell Stover candies when we lived in Kansas City. Stover’s was a big deal as Kansas City was their home base back in the day. I noticed Shopko still carries that brand. The box of candy always confused me and you had to decipher what was inside each piece, and you did that by decoding a squiggle on top of the chocolate. By the time I figured it out someone had beaten me to my favorite piece, though my memory fails me as to what it was. Toffee comes to mind.

Last night I had a dream that the President of our Condo Association greeted me outside on the street and said he was concerned about trimming my rose bushes on the trellis. I have no trellis. Nor do I have rose bushes. My neighbor in the condo to the north plants a beautiful flower garden and I can enjoy her labors without leaving my chair. She’s the one with the rose bush.

Woodpeckers were the bane of summer last year, so much so that I had a roofer working in the ‘hood, come to my place and patch a golf-ball sized hole in the cedar siding. The woodpecker is known to my daughter and me as the “knocker” bird. I’m sure it will return.

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Bill & Coo. Is that you? Uh, oh.

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