Wednesday, August 14, 2013
They took a year off from making themselves at home on my terrace. I thought Black’s presence meant their last babies here (read my earlier post) were it. I wondered aloud, sometimes mumbled about it to Blackie, Kunal, Arin and whoever else listened. This year, just before that totally wet spell, I had seen attempts to stitch up the kardal leaves in my terrace. I was whooping with joy inwards when it poured cats and dogs for days together. Gloomily I would poke around in my pots hoping to see signs of life in the leaves. Then one day, I was poking around as always and I saw her sitting in what was now a nest! The bottom bit of the leaf all dried up, the top is green and tied up precariously together in this green-brown bit in delicate threads of cotton is a tiny nest. The cotton comes from a giant tree right outside the terrace. The tree has its share of guests. Every year there’s a beehive, colourful birds, shrikes and an occasional bird of prey basking in the sun or gorging on the insects hovering around. The bee catchers are a delight to watch at work here. And then come the bats, just before the rains when the flowers are blooming and the cotton pods r coming up. They come in dozens and swoop onto the tree to eat the fruit. Fighting, talking and walking upside down, they entertain many of our evenings. This tree is also where my little bird friends hang out chattering when dear Blackie heads out to sun himself and when I water the garden. I feel terrible to get their little hearts beating so fast at least once everyday. More so coz I am responsible for creating a happy place for them to call home- with the hibiscus flowers and all that. But I’m also like a proud clucking mother who shows off the nest – from a very safe distance – to all who visit. They birds take turns in getting worms to the little ones flying in and out quickly. And they look so adorable with their long tails and fat tummies. But this cute couple is slightly crazy, I’m convinced. They have seen Blackie and I’m wondering why their fine tuned senses did not encourage them to look out for nosy neighbours. Their bird brains didn’t tell them that should Blackie bother to sniff higher than his nose, he can reach the nest and have a delicious snack or two. So, like a responsible god parent or grandparent, I’v done the needful and put a pot between the nest and the dog. Of course that’s all just a lot of pot luck.... In the meanwhile, Blackie is allowed out only when he is supervised.