Do doves have memories?
My water feature, which used to incorporate a kind of birdbath, has been dry for some weeks, due to over-enthusiastic maintenance activities on my part (pushing a hose down its gullet, if you want to know) which resulted in the pump in the murky underground sump becoming detached ... blimey, digression already and I haven't even started - I'll never fill up a minute this way.
Anyway, the local doves or pigeons or whatever they are - the ones that use the roof of my car as a convenient convenience (I got a great birthday card last year which featured two seagulls sitting on a chimney watching a man washing his car below, one seagull saying to the other 'If he doesn't finish soon I'm going to have an accident'; or was it the year before?) - these birds used to come down several times a day to drink when water was still available. (This was highly entertaining, well, by the standards of what usually goes on around here, but I'd better save that one for another time, perhaps when I've got that pump fixed - there is probably a limited supply of ideas in my ever-decreasing brain which is ever-decreasing ... sorry, was that repetition? Also, was that repetition?)
Anyway (there I go again), these same birds still come down to the water feature (isn't that a lovely expression? Some people I know have water features that are six metres by four, deep, and lined with blue tiles) to drink, act surprised that there's no water, and eventually realise that the best plan is to fly away again (once they've worked out how).
So, what kind of memories do these characters have? Long term, obviously - they remember that there used to be water there. Short term? Not much. They all have incipient Alzheimer's. Or perhaps I'm maligning them. Perhaps (by the way, that's a different word due to the capital P, I write the rules around here) they are reminding me that it really is time to phone those water feature maintenance people. Just like, when you're gardening, robins remind you to keep digging. Or used to. Robins have given up on me now. You probably have too by now. You'll have to guess how much hesitation there was in there, I'm not telling. Nor how much of whatever the other one is, I forget.