KILL A DOVE! Or…. “pepper a Hawk”! The Dove. The beautiful bird is grey, with white breast feathers and if you are lucky to be close to one, the neck feathers are often pink, red, purple and blue. The dove is the symbol of “peace” for most of the western world. In Christianity it is the symbol of the “Holy Spirit”. It was a dove that sat on the shoulder of Saint Francis of Assisi, and a dove that came to John the Baptist when he baptized the Christ.
In ancient Rome and Greece the dove was a symbol of life and good fortune. When I was a child, and on my Grandfather’s farm in West Texas, I remember the words of my father, one sunset, as a dove flew over, saying “A dove is always good luck, son. Only shoot it if you need food.”
This week Dove hunting season started. It is the most popular hunt in Texas. It is ironic that during the most popular hunt in Texas, thousands of Texans try to blast the symbol of peace out of the sky! Try is the operative word. Dove fly fast and hard to hit. Perhaps another symbol, in that. That the love for peace is hard to kill.
Dove Hunting season brings out strange elements of humanity. In Crawford, Texas, near George W. Bush’s ranch, a farmer blasted away with his shotgun, just over the fence from the new “peace center” of Cindy Sheehan, while she was mourning the death of her son who was killed in Iraq. His comment? “I was just getting ready for dove.” Her comment, was a sad “no comment”.
In Clovis, New Mexico, on opening day the police reported that a school bus was hit by dozens of shotgun pellets. “No one was injured” said the law officer.
Tom Stephenson, of “BLAST AND CAST” outfitters in Dallas said: “We had more hunters than ever in opening week, and killed so many dove everyone was happy. After we kill the dove down, we have been considering following Vice President Dick Cheney’s example, and want to start shooting Republicans.” he chuckled. “Hell, if they got a taste of what our soldiers are getting, perhaps they would bring them home.” a fellow hunter said with a grunt.
Hmmmmmmmmmm. Well, THAT would be something. To shoot the symbols of war, instead of the symbols of peace.