My Sunday day of rest was much blest with many doves, and continuing to read Plutarch's Lives.
There were eleven doves when I first went outside at seven o'clock, then twelve when I went out shortly after eleven. The second time BigFeet1 decided to fly up to roost on my left arm and work through his feathers, and LightFeet followed suit on my right arm. Other birds came and went to my hands, to my shoulders, even to my head. Twice there were four on me at once.
Even BigFeet2 landed on one hand briefly, the first time he has done that, and Smudge attempted to more than once but was deterred by other birds, so I expect that both the newest chicks will soon be doing what all the rest do.
I wondered how long BigFeet1 and LightFeet would stay roosting contentedly on me, so I determined to stand there till they decided to go. LightFeet stayed for two hourst! BigFeet1 only lasted about an hour and a half, but that was only because F1 came and scared him off.
LightFeet likes perching on my shoulders, moving back and forth between them, lightly nibbling my ears, my hair, my collar. And perching on my arms energetically nibbling my buttons. She is fascinated by my buttons, and tugs at them energetically. M1 now does the same.
The blackbird chick has found that if it stands by my porch and sings its feed-me song I will come out will probably feed it. So it does, and usually I do. All blackbirds look like females at first, but I suspect that it is a male because of the amount of singing it does. We shall see.
It is wonderful and very special to have these birds bestowed on me, especially the doves, but whenever we are dealing with animals we must never let them become more than they are. We must always avoid getting into the situation rightly decried in the first paragraph in the chapter on Pericles in Plutarch's Lives (Plutarch lived about 1900 years ago; he died circa 120AD):
'Caesar once seeing some wealthy strangers at Rome carrying up and down with them in their arms and bosoms young puppy-dogs and monkeys, embracing them and making much of them, took occasion not unnaturally to ask whether the women in their country were not used to bear children; by that prince-like reprimand gravely reflecting upon persons who spend and lavish upon brute beasts that affection and kindness which nature has implanted in us to be bestowed on those of our own kind. With like reason we blame those who misuse that love of enquiry and observation which nature has implanted in our souls by expending it on object unworthy of the attention either of their eyes or their ears, while they disregard such as are excellent in themselves, and would do them good.'