Two Turle Doves – (day 2)


Icy Sedgwick

Davis opened his eyes and groaned. The thump in his head turned the sudden light into a pulse in his temples. He hauled himself to his feet, and tried to peer beyond the bleary fuzz obscuring his vision.


Four cream walls came into view, followed by beige furniture, and a tree adorned with blinking white lights. The sea of nondescript colour made his head swim. As he looked closer, bars came into focus. Everywhere Davis looked, all he saw were bars. Thin metal, coated with flaking white paint, but bars nonetheless. He tapped at one with his beak.


“Wouldn’t bother, mate. Can’t get out.”


Davis turned around at the sound of the voice. Another dove sat on the other side of the cage. It held out one wing, paused in the middle of preening.


“Who are you?” asked Davis. He rubbed his head against his wing as if to rub some sense back into himself.


“Daniel. Pleased to make your acquaintance,” said the other dove.


“I’m Davis…what’s going on? Why am I in a cage?” asked Davis. “Last thing I remember, I’d just left the dovecote. I was sitting on a wall, watching some children make a snowman.”


“You were captured. See, you’re to be a present. We both are,” replied Daniel.


“Who for?”


“I don’t know her name, but she’s a pretty lass, if her photo is anything to go by. Look, it’s over there, on the mantelpiece.”


Daniel gestured across the room with his wing. Davis peered through the bars at the black and white photo. A girl stood in a snow-covered field, holding the reins of a black horse. Her dark curls streamed behind her as she tossed her head back to laugh. Her frozen smile caught Davis’ attention.


“Cor, she’s a looker, isn’t she?” he said.


“Told you so.” Daniel fluffed up his feathers, proud of his taste in humans.


“What kind of a moron gives two captive birds as a present?” asked Davis.


“Her utter berk of a boyfriend – that kind of moron. From what I can gather, some idiot friend of his bet him that he wouldn’t actually get her all the stuff from that Christmas song. I don’t think he was particularly sober when he agreed to it.”




“Yep. I heard the French hens having a row the other day, and those leaping lords are hell on the nerves. They jump about at all hours of the day and night – it’s so annoying,” replied Daniel.


“What’s he getting her gifts for? Hasn’t he heard of Santa?” asked Davis.


“I don’t think he believes in Santa.”


“Not believe in Santa? He must be a fool.”


“Well clearly, if he thinks his girlfriend will appreciate caged birds for Christmas,” said Daniel. “Anyway, from what I can tell, a lot of these humans don’t believe in Santa any more. That box in the corner sometimes shows moving pictures and they’re always telling humans to buy noisy toys for their kids.”


“Poor Santa. He must feel really hard done by,” said Davis. He shook his head.


“Imagine how his elves must feel, having all these humans claiming the credit for their hard work!” said Daniel.


“Oh I hadn’t thought of them. Poor elves. Poor Santa! Oh, poor us! I don’t want to be a present!” wailed Davis.


“Neither do I, but what can we do? I’ve been all over this cage and I can’t find a way out.”


The doves waddled around the cage, pecking and pushing the bars. A whistle and a thump interrupted their investigation. They looked out of the cage. A short man clad in dark green sat on the rug in front of the fireplace. He patted his tunic, sending clouds of soot into the air.


“Evening, fellas. Thought you might need a hand,” said the man.


“Who are you?” asked Daniel.


“I’m Ellerby. Reconnaissance and rescue division. We’ve been keeping an eye on you boys,” said the man. He gestured to a small plastic Santa hanging from a branch on the tree. A tiny lens in Santa’s eye extended toward them.


“You’re an elf!” exclaimed Davis.


“That I am, that I am. I’m here to get you out! It’s against Christmas Regulation 8, sub-section 9, paragraph 2b to give live animals as presents so when Santa saw what was goin’ on, he dispatched me right away,” said Ellerby.


He walked across the rug, leaving a trail of sooty footprints. Ellerby clambered onto the coffee table and wrenched open a small door hidden in the bars of the cage. Daniel hopped through the opening, fluttering across the room to the sofa. Davis climbed out of the cage, and perched on the mantelpiece.


“What do we do now?” asked Davis.


“I’ll open the window and you can go home,” said Ellerby.


“What about the girl?” asked Daniel.


“Don’t worry, I’ll leave her something a bit more suitable,” said Ellerby.


He hopped down from the table and crossed the room to the window. The elf climbed the curtains and swung himself up onto the sill. He pushed his fingers under the frame and pushed the window up. Davis and Daniel flew across the room and sailed out into the cold twilight.


Ellerby waved goodbye to them, watching the doves disappear into the gloaming. He slid the window shut and made his way across the room. The elf reached up the chimney and pulled down a wicker basket filled with Dove bath products. He pushed the cage onto the floor and sat the basket in its place.


“Merry Christmas, Gwendolyn,” said Ellerby.


He scampered across the room, and disappeared back up the chimney with a whoosh.



20 Responses to “Two Turle Doves – (day 2)”

  1. Carrie Clevenger

    Glad for the birds. Loved your dialogue, always so witty Icy.

  2. TEC4

    Very clever, Icy. Especially the Dove bath products at the end 🙂 Couldn’t have been Dove Chocolate? Well, maybe Gwendolyn doesn’t like chocolate or sommat.

    Glad to know Santa’s keeping an eye on things after all …

  3. Sam Adamson

    Dove bath products will be more Gwendlyn’s style I reckon. I really like Ellerby, he’s a great character, and I agree with Carrie, your dialogue’s brilliant. Really enjoyed this.

  4. Susan May

    A moron giving his girlfriend two captive birds, indeed! Good thing Ellerby came to the rescue.
    I like the idea of a lens in the plastic Santa’s eye!
    Well done.

  5. Jim Bronyaur

    Hahah… as expected Icy, this is fun, charming, meaningful, and a blast to read. So much packed into it – the notion of humans and Santa and the television telling parents to buy toys… then the elf… and the paragraph and section… I loved it. Thanks for writing.


  6. Patti Larsen

    LOVED it, Icy! Fantastic writing, clever idea–thank goodness for subsection 9, paragraph 2b! LOL

  7. Tony Noland

    Heh, very clever. I like the Dove bars, too.

  8. Icy Sedgwick

    I’m glad everyone’s enjoyed it!

  9. Chuck Allen

    Very entertaining and fun!

  10. Tweets that mention Two Turle Doves – (day 2) « 12 Days 2010! --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Icy Sedgwick, Jim Bronyaur. Jim Bronyaur said: Caged birds that talk. An elf. And a Santa contract. This can only mean @icypop is at work! #12days2010 – […]

  11. Leslie

    Really enjoyed the story!

  12. A. M. Harte

    Very clever and witty. I love it!

  13. lil_monmon

    LOVE IT. I love the ending, great touch. I think I’d rather have the bubble bath and lotion too.

  14. Cecilia Dominic

    Good call for the elf! Gwendolyn will probably be much happier with her bath products than with having to clean a bird cage. I enjoyed this one.


  15. David G Shrock

    Very cute. Loved the bath products.

  16. Cindy Mantai

    The dialogue was so realistic, I could actually SEE and HEAR these two fellows. A great story!

  17. Eric J. Krause

    I’m sure she’ll enjoy the Dove bath products much more than two live turtledoves. Enjoyed this one a bunch.

  18. PJ Kaiser

    Thank goodness for Ellerby! This is filled with wonderful details, Icy. Very tight writing. I love it – things looked very grim indeed for our two turtle doves 😉

  19. adampb

    Such great dialogue and the little touches like the Santa camera. In particular, cool pun with the Dove products.
    Adam B @revhappiness

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