A Family on the Roof (—Laskhmi Bhavani)

Posted by Vartika Kumari at July 18, 2021

        One evening,my mother called me excitedly from the balcony.I went up and looked to where she was pointing.I saw an egg among the entwined creepers on the roof of our patio.I thought it could be a snack’s egg.Something we did spot snakes slithering among the bushes! But, a snake’s could not have been this big! Then it occurred to me that it could be a peahen’s egg. There were many in our neighbourhood.

The next evening, my mother told me that she had spotted another egg. Wonderful news!This meant we had regular visitor. I have always longed for a pet, now I was luckly to own one!

The next evening I notice another egg, and I was sure of our friend’s intentoins. She had decided to make our roof her home. I was overjoyed. I repeatadly counted the eggs. the following day was the most memorable-there were four eggs.The next morning, Ifinally saw the peahen. I dropped a few pieces of bread annd roti on the roof.

I had to wait for twenty-one days for the eggs to hatch. It had become a daily ritual to watch the mother bird.I didn’t see her moving an inch in spite of the Sun. On some days, it rained heavily and I was sour the bird was could too. Though it’s nice to have some showers especially in the hot season, for the mother hen it was not so.

My mother told me that the peahen went away sometimes in the night. There were some cats in the vicinity and I dreaded  the though that they might snatch the eggs.

Every morning I would go and take a look at the peahen.A fortnight later, when I went to the balcony,I was aghast at what I saw: a cat was scurrying away with an egg in its mouth.I shrieked at it, and in the hullabbaloo it dropped the egg.I felt very sad looking at the contents of the broken egg. I hopped that this would not happen again.

The peahen continued to visit,without losing hope.One afternoon I heard my mother calling out to me. I ran upstairs.  I  saw a teeny-weeny chick next to its mother. Iran into get the camera, and just at the moment the peahen got up and another itsy-bitsy chick was there. They followed their mother, and while we’were looking at them the peahen flew from the roof onto the gchick followround.One chick followed. I just started at it  taking such a flight from the alconny. It was needed not a small height for a baby chick.how would it come up again?

The mother peahen flew back again the flew down once again. The other chick which was just standing on the edge followed. We were all looking at them wondring how they would fly back again the peahen walked towords the hedge and out of our house with her chicks Following her.

I asked my mother how the minutes-old chicks could fly from such a height. She smiled and answered that it was the trust the chicks had on their mother.

                                                                                                                                                           —Laskhmi Bhavani


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