the payoff of persistence

A mourning dove and a chipmunk vie for the bird seed I’ve thrown under the well-used bird feeder. I am watching them from the rocking chair on the breezeway, where I am idling away this rainy Sunday morning while my mother still sleeps.
The dove is smaller than the usual ones who come here; maybe it’s still a fledgling. But it’s still bigger than the glutonous chipmunk, who must be stuffing his cheeks, since I can’t imagine that he’s ingesting all that he’s taking into his mouth.
For a while, the two critters keep a safe distance from each other, but as the foodstuff dwindles, they find themselves too near each other for comfort. The dove makes a threatening sound and fluffs her wings. The chipmunk backs off. That goes on for at least ten minutes, the chipmunk coming back for more after each time the dove takes a stand.
Eventually, the dove gives up and wanders off into my slowly evolving rock garden; the the persistent chipmunk has full reign in the rain, and the dove flies off to look for less annoying feeding grounds.
I returned here yesterday from an overnight trip to Albany to attend the benefit screening of Serenity with my women friends — who knew nothing of the Firefly television series or the Serenity movie that sprang from it. They joined me as a favor to me, not really expecting to enjoy a sci fi movie. As we left the theater after the movie, several were talking about renting the DVDs of the series and also watching the movie again, this time with their male partners — who, they believed, would also like the movie. The persistence of the Browncoats, which is what the Firefly/Serenity fans call themselves, has paid off wonderfully for Equality Now, which gets the proceeds from the benefit screenings. (Total proceeds from the world-wide screenings are nearing the $50,000 range. Kudos to the Browncoats and the persistence of the instigator and coordinator of these benefits, theonetruebix!)
I still haven’t unpacked — not only my clothes and sundries, but also all of the food and other staples I bought while in Albany with access to BJ’s Wholesale Club. I don’t really have room to store such stuff here. So now I have to spend the rest of the day persistently staightening up. Of course, my mother will wake soon, and my day will be taken over by her persistent needs.
The persistent chipmunk always seems to get his way. But, unlike the mourning dove, I can’t just fly away.
UPDATE: This afternoon, on the ground where the dove and chipmunk sparred this morning: a dozen gray feathers. I don’t know who won. Both were back a little while ago, keeping their distance. My sib went out and sprinkled bird food in several other places to give each the opportunity to avoid another confrontation. We wondered what kind of bird feeder we could make for the mourning doves that would keep out the chipmunks, who have learned to climb fences and are experimenting with climbing up the cedar siding on the house. It’s going to be a toss-up to see who will be most persistent — and that includes us humans, too.

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