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Thoughts on the passage about "the hound, the bay-horse, and the turtle-dove" Austin Meredith

Here's a related passage from "Autumnal Tints":

Why, it takes a sharp-shooter to bring down even such trivial game as snipes and woodcocks; he must take very particular aim, and know what he is aiming at. He would stand a very small chance, if he fired at random into the sky, being told that snipes were flying there. And so is it with him that shoots at beauty; though he wait till the sky falls, he will not bag any, if he does not already know its seasons and haunts, and the color of its wing,-if he has not dreamed of it, so that he can anticipate it; then, indeed, he flushes it at every step, shoots double and on the wing, with both barrels, even in cornfields. The sportsman trains himself, dresses and watches unweariedly, and loads and primes for his particular game. He prays for it, and offers sacrifices, and so he gets it. After due and long preparation, schooling his eye and hand, dreaming awake and asleep, with gun and paddle and boat he goes out after meadow-hens, which most of his townsmen never saw nor dreamed of; and paddles for miles against a head-wind, and wades in water up to his knees, being out all day without his dinner, and therefore he gets them. He had them half-way into his bag when he started, and has only to shove them down. The true sportsman can shoot you almost any of his game from his windows: what else, has he windows or eyes for? It comes and perches at last on the barrel of his gun; but the rest of the world never see it with the feathers on. The geese fly exactly under his zenith, and honk when they get there, and he will keep himself supplied by firing up his chimney; twenty musquash have the refusal of each one of his traps before it is empty. If he lives, and his game-spirit increases, heaven and earth shall fail him sooner than game; and when he dies, he will go to more extensive, and, perchance, happier hunting-grounds. The fisherman, too, dreams of fish, sees a bobbing cork in his dreams, till he can almost catch them in his sink-spout. I knew a girl who, being sent to pick huckleberries, picked wild gooseberries by the quart, where no one else knew that there were any, because she was accustomed to pick them up country where she came from. The astronomer knows where to go star-gathering, and sees one clearly in his mind before any have seen it with a glass. The hen scratches and finds her food right under where she stands; but such is not the way with the hawk."

From Austin Meredith:
Mourning-doves or pigeons are now classed in the family Columbidae and the mourning-dove in the genus Zenaida. A contemporary encyclopedia lists the turtle-dove as a "species of the genus Columba, celebrated for the constancy of its affection." The bird habits open fields, parks, and lawns with many trees and shrubs. The adult is about a foot long from beak to tip of its pointed tail (macroura is Greek for "long-tailed"). It is a soft, sandy buff and its tail is bordered with white. There are black spots on its wings. Its voice is a low and mournful coo-ah, coo, coo, coo - hence its name. Its nest, which holds 2 white eggs, is placed both in low bushes and in tall trees (more rarely on the ground) and is loosely made of sticks and twigs. Although it breeds from southeastern Alaska, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick southward to Mexico and Panama, it winters in the north to northern United States. It has become more abundant with the cutting of forests and burning off of grass. The young are fed by regurgitation, and this partially digested regurgitate is referred to as pigeon milk. Edmund C. Jaegar's A Source-Book of Biological Names and Terms gives "columbin" as from the Latin columbinus, columbina, columbinum, pertaining to a dove, columba, a dove; and "turtur" - L. turtur, a turtle-dove. The National Geographic Society's Birds of North America gives Columba livia, which means bluish-gray, the color of the metal lead, as the scientific name of the Rock Dove. In the King James version of the Bible, per Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, there are references to the turtledove in Genesis 15:9, Leviticus 12:6, and Psalms 74:19, to turtledoves in Leviticus 1:14, Leviticus 5:7, Leviticus 5:11, Leviticus 14:22, Leviticus 14:30, Leviticus 15:14, and Luke 2:24, to the turtle in The Song of Songs which is Solomons 2:12 ("the voice of the turtle is heard in the land") and Jeremiah 8:7, and to turtles in Leviticus 12:8, Leviticus 15:29, and Numbers 6:10.

Look at it this way: 1.) How can you "lose" a hound? What happens with a hunting dog is, the dog runs off after a rabbit or after a scent, and it is gone awhile, and when it is ready, it comes back. Walden is full of hounds like that, baying in the distance. In what sense are these hounds "lost"? 2.) How can you "lose" a bay horse? What happens to a riding horse is, it strays off looking for green grass and a neighbor finds it and brings it back, or, some dude steals it, or, it up and dies on you. So, do you ever "lose" a bay horse in the way you "lose" a hound dog? No, hound dogs are "lost" in one way, and bay horses are "lost" in very different ways from that. These might as well be two different words, "losted" for hound dogs and "detsol," which is "losted" spelled backward, for bay horses. The two uses, "losted" and "detsol," really have no point in common. 3.) How can you "lose" a turtle-dove? What happens to a turtle-dove, a wild creature of nature, is that it is flying around, and it vanishes into some underbrush or it flies into a cloud or something, and then it is gone. Turtle-doves are not the sort of birds that can live in cages, and you never keep one as a pet, so "losing" a turtle-dove is nothing like your hound dog getting "losted." Turtle-doves are not the sort of birds that anyone eats, so "losing" a turtle-dove is nothing like some hawk having carried off your laying hen. Turtle-doves don't get "losted" like a hound dog and they don't get "detsol" like a riding horse. They have just "gone-away" and that's it. So, in this snarl of different meanings for the same word "lost," is there any point at all, is there any point in common, at which "losted" actually touches "detsol" and "detsol" actually touches "gone-away"? Well, yes, in a sense, there is. There is one point that all three of these uses have in common -- but that point is a mental point, it is within our *affect*. It is a *feeling* we can get in all three cases. In each of these three cases, when our hound dog runs away, when our riding horse gets stolen, and when some turtle-dove we are gazing at disappears behind a cloud, we get this same *feeling*. It is a feeling of loss, or so we say. We *feel like* we are being *deprived*. It's all in the affect. Look straight at your "losted" hound dog, look straight at your "detsol" bay horse, look straight at your "gone-away" turtle-dove, and say what such thingies really are before a true gaze -- and they all go to pieces in your account of them. Hey, bozo, you haven't lost a damned thing -- you're just feeling bad, that's all! Get ahold of yourself! Men esteem truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man. In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime, but all these petty little experiences of "loss" that you moan about are right now and they are right here. Now and here, God himself culminates in this present moment, this presented reality that you seem so determined to spoil with your moaning about your "losses" -- and yet God will never in the lapse of all the ages become more divine than right here right now. So, get a clue, you are enabled to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching of the reality that surrounds you. Your universe is constantly and obediently going to answer to your conceptions; whether we travel fast or slow, that track is laid for us. So we should get a handle on our conceptions -- shouldn't we?