Wednesday, 24 February 2010
How many of you had or have pet animals at home? We always had pets at home, one or the other. We had cats, dog, parakeets,rabbits, a hare, squirrels, fishes, and even a wounded crow and wood-pecker which fell down in our backyard. Pets make best friends. They make you happy whenever you are down. Just watch them play you can feel your sadness melting away, especially when you watch a kitten play you forget all the adversities. Pets are scientifically proven to reduce stress and high blood pressure. Animal assited therapy (AAT) is now-a-days widely used to treat many physical,mental and psycological health problems. Having said this, I would love to introduce to all of you one of the best pets we ever had- ROY.
Roy is a peahen. The name didn’t match because we named her before we could know her sex. The way she entered our home is an interesting story. One day myself and my friend were strolling around in the university where I studied. At a distance a young dog was playing with something in its mouth and its mother was happily lying down and proudly watching its kid. Wondering what was there in its mouth I took a few step towards it. The moment the little dog saw me it dropped that thing from its mouth and ran away. I could now clearly see what it was. It was a bird, a small bird which appeared to be a little bigger than a pullet. I took the bird in my hand, the poor little thing’s neck was lying low on one side (as if it is broken) of its body and it’s eyes were closed. On the top of both it's eye there were sand particles. I am very worried on seeing it and thought it was dead. I understood that it is a peachick (young one of a peacock) as I have seen only a day or two before, a peahen with its chicks. Totally heart broken I tried to examine it and that little one somehow sensed that it is in safer hands and opened its eyes and slowly lifted its head. ‘’How happy am I at that moment?’’. The happiness lasted only for a few minutes. Then I started to wonder what to do with that little one. As far as my eyes could see I could not spot its mother or the other young ones. I took it to my lab and kept it inside a safe basket. I called my mom. ‘Amma, I have found a peachik’ I told her abruptly. There was a deep silence on the other end. She told me after few seconds ‘ Look Manju don’t bring it here’. Now there is a hard silence from my side and then I replied as usual ’I will’. My mom was so angry and she hung up the phone. I know my mom very well. She loves animals. She has fed so many animals with her hand and I knew well that she will take care of this poor creature too.
So I went home with the peachick. My mom on seeing us didn’t speak anything. She pretended as if she is watching TV. After a few minutes she could not control her eagerness to look how a peachick will be. When she turned around I started giggling. She looked at me angrily and said ‘your sister only a few days back bought two stray kittens from the street and now you!!!’. That’s true. My sister had already bought two stray kittens which were thrown away on the street by some heartless creature only a week ago and need not to say my mom was taking care of them too. And one more important thing is we already had 4 or 5 cats in our home. My mom looked at the peachick and said ‘this looks very small and you know about our cats, don’t you?, whenever they get a chance they catch and gulp down the nearby pullets (young one of a hen), will they spare this poor creature?’ Now I started to panic a little. Then I thought ‘ok let dad come’ we will find a way. When my dad came and saw the little one he was very hessitant to have it at home. Since peacocks are our national bird, it is considered as a protected species. You need a license to keep it as a pet. After hearing this all my hopes were lost. My dad said 'you must inform a forest department personnel about this little one and then let us decide what to do'. Next two days were holiday. So I am at home all the time. I am worried about our cats tearing that little thing apart. The cats were very excited about the peachick.They were standing here and there, watching the little bird eagerly. But when they knew that the bird is ours and we are taking care of it they never troubled it (animals are very intelligent, you will never know this untill you move with them closely). Then a problem arouse about feeding the peachick. ‘What to feed the little one ?’. When I threw a few grains of rice in front of it the peachick didn’t know what to do. It just watched and kept quiet. Then an idea came to my mind. I put few grains of rice in my mouth chewed it nicely, kept it in my tongue and opened my mouth and showed my tongue with ground rice to the bird. My chweet, intelligent creature immediately picked it from my mouth. Then I fed it with biscuits the same way. Soon the peachick started roaming behind me.Wherever I went it followed me. Naturally it thought I am its mom as I am feeding it. After the week end I went to the university. My mom started to take care of it. She took an ink-filler, crushed rice or biscuits and fed the peachick with it. Soon the little one shifted its attention from me to my mom. It started assuming that our mom is it’s mom. She will be always following my mom wherever she went. When she goes to take a bath, our peachick will be standing outside the bathroom door and will be shouting in a non-stop manner untill my mom comes out. After seeing my mom it immediately becomes quiet and happy. When I am at home I taught the peachick one important thing. ‘How to look for earth worms by digging the mud?’ :). I would take a small stick dig the mud and tap the ground and say ‘ Roy poochi, poochi’ ( a word for insect in tamil). On hearing this and on seeing me digging and tapping the ground it will come running to me to eat the exposed earth worm. The time spent with this amazing bird is one of the beautiful time in my life!!! :)
To be continued.......