Celebrating East African Writing!

A Dove from No-Where Land by Gitura Kihuria

The dove announced its arrival in a boisterous manner by falling from the roof top to the porch of my house while I was cooking beef last week.

My initial reaction to the arrival of the bird, which arrived with much ado, was to add it to my beef stew.

I have never tasted pigeon meat and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to do so.

However after some soul searching, my desire to end my curiosity by adding some exotic taste to my taste- buds notwithstanding, I opted to let it be.

I came to the decision after the realization that eating the bird might meet my immediate need; that of satisfying my palate and curiosity but come tomorrow, I will still wake up hungry minus the dove.

I have to admit also that the other reason for not thickening my beef stew with some exotic bird meat was because of even more curiosity.

I wondered out loud the nature of the dove’s visit. Was it harbinger of good tidings that were yet to come upon my life? I asked no one in particular.

And so began our week long affair and sojourn of the dove that fell from the sky (actually it was from the rooftop).

To have some formal introductions between us and since the bird was able to figure out my address, I conveniently christened it the drive-in dove from nowhere-land.

Every morning before I left in search of my daily bread, I would perform the new chore among the others that define my predictable life, by feeding the drive-in dove from nowhere-land with a handful of rice and a bowl of water.

Don’t blame my choice of food for the bird; I have never before in my life kept a pigeon as a pet. The dogs would probably not allow.

Anyway, the dove would eat my rice without a fuss maybe for lack of choice but not the water.

I would always pour down the bowl of water the next day and refill again but all in vain. This was a routine that I expected to perform for the one week it lasted.

On Sunday last week, five days after our first acquaintance, the drive-in dove flew to where I sat outside reading a newspaper and perched on the seat.

Though I would have preferred it to have perched on my shoulder, I none the less considered that action to have been the ultimate expression of trust between us or perhaps it was trying to acknowledge my feeding effort and hospitality.

On Monday this week, it unsuccessfully tried to chase away two quail birds (smaller to it but larger than robins and you would normally find them in hordes attacking a wheat field) which ganged up against her (not sure about the sex though they all look female to me) in order to eat her plate of rice.

She would chase one, and the other would take the opportunity to eat as much rice as possible. And they would use this ploy in turns until she left them to their naughty devices. Though I wondered if this was Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest.

Come Tuesday, I had left the house without much drama I witnessed on Monday save for my usual feeding ritual.

When I came back in the evening, I found the drive-in dove from nowhere-land near my door step which was rather unusual.

Anyway, after our usual acknowledgements-sizing each other up and flapping of wings-I entered the house. When I came out a short while later, the dove was nowhere in sight.

This is when I realized that the dove was waiting that evening at the door step to bid me goodbye. It thought it an act of betrayal to have left before I came back even though I came later than usual.

I still haven’t figured out why the dove came into my life (it could have been injured for all I know) albeit for a short while and I’m not sure if it will ever come back.

But what I’ve learnt is that strangers can become dear friends and might leave a lasting impression when they opt to leave even though they didn’t talk much when they stayed.

I don’t know what morals or lessons from this true story that you have learned, but I leave it to you to make your own interpretation.

© Gitura Kihuria 2009

If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Friday 24th July and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.


14 comments on “A Dove from No-Where Land by Gitura Kihuria

  1. John
    July 20, 2009

    A well written narrative with a pinch of humour.

    The writer should actually consider doing strings for National Geographics coz of his observation on animal(bird) behaviour.


  2. eric kinyua
    July 21, 2009

    10 excellent


  3. eric kinyua
    July 21, 2009

    the writer is very creative and should keep the fire burning


  4. Mwangi
    July 21, 2009

    i will give 10
    i enjoyed reading the story..i didn’t know we have good writers in this country congrats Gitura.


  5. kyt
    July 21, 2009

    really was this a true story?? out of the sky sorry roof a dove just comes. maybe it brought good news and peace to your troubled life. giving it a 6


  6. chege gitura
    July 22, 2009

    very well written story…


  7. chege gitura
    July 22, 2009

    very well done story….10


  8. Jeremiah
    July 22, 2009

    A captivating story and with a moral lesson to it i.e that of friendship and learning to accommodate strangers.

    It’s good the author didn’t make dove soup out of the sojourner.

    I’ll give it a 9


  9. kim
    July 22, 2009

    brilliant short story,big up. 10


  10. Nickey
    July 22, 2009

    I give it a 10
    Wow, the writer has a talent. Keep us updated on whether the dove will pay you a visit again Gitura. I loved the story.


  11. Sandra
    July 22, 2009

    Quite exclusive.I rate it at 10
    It touches on our day to day life…
    A must read!!


  12. Raymond Bett
    July 23, 2009

    Good story..I give it an 8.
    A dove usually represents peace. It came and gave you a peace of mind for a week. You forgot the daily hustles for a state of nirvana. I hope next time; it would choose my place of residence….lol!


  13. Tony mwai
    July 25, 2009

    It deserves a 10.that dove,reminds me of the mau forest,had we not warmed our self greedly,i would not have missed my shower this day,thus we ate our dove..!!!!


  14. Ka-Res
    July 23, 2016

    Awesome piece. I can totally relate. I give it 10/10.


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