Parenting: An intuitive skill in all creations
The two crows were the parents and the commotion was all about the safety of their little ones. Once they realised that we posed no harm, they settled into easy calm
The toughest job on earth is parenting. Despite there being tomes written about the skill, parenting is mostly intuitive. You hit some, you miss some. But at the end of the day, you are responsible for the physical, emotional and mental development of your child. For most parents, parenting is also about providing a safe environment for children. We go out of the way to protect our little ones. When my kids were toddlers, we made sure to put insulated tape on every switch and plug accessible to them; kept sharp objects out of their reach and were extra vigilant when they wanted to play with water though we thoroughly enjoyed their antics.
What reminded me of all those parental instincts was a little drama that unfolded on the terrace the other day. After many a hectic day, one evening at leisure I stepped onto the terrace and joined my husband for a stroll. The very next moment, a crow swooped past me and landed its flight on one of the eaves. The bird then created a ruckus as it cawed loudly. The cacophony was soon taken to another level when it was joined by another one perched on an electricity pole across the terrace. My husband reflected that the crows have been gathering around our terrace for some days now. They have either laid eggs somewhere or there must be a carcass nearby. I glanced around and soon was privy to a precious moment. Directly opposite to where I stood, the mother crow was feeding its fledglings, who opened hungry mouths while settled in their twiggy home precariously nestled between the sparsely foliated top branches of a tree. The two crows were the parents and the commotion was all about the safety of their little ones. Once they realised that we posed no harm, they settled into easy calm.
The next evening as I went to the terrace, the mother crow again swooped past me out of nowhere but this time she did not call out to her partner. I was no more a threat, I believe. Ten minutes later, the mother crow could be seen furiously cawing out to her partner and within 30 seconds the better-half emerged and joined in her discordant notes. I noticed an urchin casually sauntering in the alley between our house and the tree with the nest. The duo dived from one end of the electricity wires to another while sweeping past the lad, who was so lost in his own thoughts to notice the drama going around him. The lead characters followed the boy to the end of the street in five swoops, their eyes never off him. At the end of the street, the boy instead of taking a turn, came down the same path. The parent crows again followed him swoop after swoop, ready to peck if the need arose.
Finally, the kid turned the corner and went his way. The couple settled down to take a well-deserved break. My heart went out to these parents who like most human parents had no idea about parenting skills but only an intuition to guide them at being good parents.
The writer is associate professor, English, SD College, Ambala Cantt