Putting up with pet peeves
It all started with a parrot. The poor bird was discovered when it had fallen out of its nest and a dog wanted to make a meal of it. My sons quickly rescued it and brought it home. Taking it to the vet to fix the broken wing and buying a cage for it was but a short step. Writes Charu N Thakur.chandigarh Updated: Dec 23, 2014 13:32 IST
It all started with a parrot. The poor bird was discovered when it had fallen out of its nest and a dog wanted to make a meal of it. My sons quickly rescued it and brought it home. Taking it to the vet to fix the broken wing and buying a cage for it was but a short step.
"We shall be taking care of it until its wing is healed," the elder one declared. "And then of course it will fly away," assured the younger.
We discussed the rescued parrot with a friend in the forest department and were cheerfully advised that it could enjoy the open. When reminded that it was unable to fly and could be killed by a cat or another predator, he said, "Well, isn't that the law of nature?"
That was two years ago. The wing never became strong enough for the parrot to fly and it still stares at me with beady eyes (soulful eyes, my sons claim) the whole day long. Sometimes it even rebukes me in its shrill chirp. It has become a permanent resident of our home.
I have noticed that its chirp becomes more insistent and shrill when the food in the bowl is not up to its liking. This bird brain does not like green chillies, rotis or wheat grain. Walnuts, almonds, peanuts and peas must be shelled before being served to it. Though rice is the staple food, he prefers fruit like guava seeds, loquat, pomegranate and jamuns.
The other day, my younger son entered the house, scratched and bruised, but tightly clutching a kitten. "It's hungry. We need to give it some milk," he announced. "How do you know it's hungry?" I argued. "Probably it just wants to go home," I added.
"Mom, we shall let it go after we feed him," he said convincingly.
So I fed it without much ado because I was also in a hurry to take my son to the doctor.
A few days ago, I found both my sons amid a litter of nine pups! I panicked. "Come inside," I shouted. "Their mom won't like this."
"Aren't they cute? Can I keep them?" pleaded my younger son. Seeing the shock on my face, he amended the question, "OK just two, maybe three? Alright just one?"
"Nothing doing," I said firmly, "Come inside immediately."
My sons obeyed my order and to my horror so did the pups, all nine of them.
And to top it all, the other day my elder son remarked, "It seems you don't like us." Taken aback, I retorted, "Of course I like you."
"Then why do you make us study?" he said with wide-eyed innocence. "Because it is required for you future and actually it proves that I like you," I replied cleverly.
"Do you like Xatu?" he asked pointing at the parrot. "Yes," I said mystified. "Then why don't you make it study?"
Now this is an argument that is still going on and I don't think it is likely to end in the near future.