Sunday, August 23, 2009

A pleasant ritual

A flock of colourful parrots start their chorus beeps and chirrups at 6 a.m on the branches of a bilimbi tree growing in the compound outside our kitchen. They stir up a racket till we hurriedly cool the freshly cooked rice and spread it out for their breakfast, in a thick long line, on a clean narrow stone platform, beneath the tree. It started with 2 parrots initially, but they being good natured, fetched their cousins and friends and in-laws, so that their strength is now 25, which meant we needed to stretch the line of cooked rice- which in turn,required more rice to be cooked.

They are a cautious lot however.They wait up the tree, till some squirrels hop down as food tasters. After ensuring safety,the parrots now descend,sending the squirrels scampering,while they take up positions on either side of the platform. Everybody finds space.They dine hurriedly keeping vigil.Sometimes, the naughty squirrels let out an alarm cry. Fearing the common enemy cat, all the parrots take off in a jiffy.!Then the squirrels take over the clear field !! Soon, the parrots return to chase them away. The game continues....

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Thoughts and Voices by Radha Iyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.