I opened my eyes to a beautiful morning today.
We-misses and me-had moved to this neighborhood just last evening. The temporary shelter we had taken up atop a tinbox had turned into a nightmare. The rats and smoke-blowing humans had almost succeeded in forcing misses to have second thoughts about moving here. The latter especially-she thought the humans were evil. I, being a bit more travelled than her, explained that it was OK, the humans were not demons. I told her the humans do that to help them poop.At night, I found a peculiar projection for both of us to perch on, and made up my mind to find a permanent place the next morning. Misses was going to lay soon.
So, today morning, both of us left to look for a good place to build a home on. I had explained what to look for-a place which looked like it wasnt occupied by anyone for long. We started in different directions, to speed up the process.
Some time later, we met at a place we had decided upon earlier. Although I had had no luck, misses looked to be in high spirits. She said she had found a great spot, and took me to it. It was one of those places where many humans live above each other’s houses. We got in through a window-and I was immediately dissapointed. There were human things lying all over the place-clothes, books and some assorted things too, though I dont know what they were called. It was lying wherever possible-a big mess really. I tried to tell misses that this place was occupied, but she refused to believe it. “No human can live in a place like this”, she said. I decided against arguing-doing so might have led to an unwanted scenario, considering the physical and mental condition misses was in at that juncture.
We looked around, and found a spot to build on. We got to it immediately, starting off by gathering the material. Thankfully, we found some of it lying around there itself. We spent quite a long time gathering everything up. By now, I too had started to think that this place was unoccupied-there hadnt been any sort of indication of occupancy for a long time. Misses had gone out for one last trip, and I was starting to put everything together, when the worst happened.
The human came in.
I was scared like hell, and flew towards a window to get out. What happened next will surely be a popular story amongst my friends now, and later, among my grandchildren.
As I flew towards the window, for a moment I saw myself-I cannot explain how-I just saw myself in the air through which I was going to pass-like I see myself in a pool of water while going over it. Then I hit something hard. I could not understand what was happening. It was like I had flown into a solid wall of nothing! I tried again, but the same thing happened. All this time, the human was standing in the door and staring at me stupidly. I prayed that he would leave me alone. But then he snapped out of it, and got two huge sticks. I thought I was done for, and tried to go through the window again, flapping frantically. Doing so might blow away the solid wall of nothing, I thought. But luck was against me.The human came closer then, and tried to lift me between the two sticks. I am sure he would have put me in a fire and made a meal out of me if he had succeeded. But I am smart too, and I started walking along the window, back and forth, away from the sticks.The human lost it I think, because he yelled “Stupid bird” at me and went way, closing the door behind him. I thanked God, and tried to get out again. No success.
I wondered what was wrong. This had never happend to me before. I was too tired to try again, so I just looked out through the solid wall of nothing. I saw misses go by, and signalled at her to stay away.
I had stood there for a long time, thinking about my next move, when the human came in again. This time, his hair was wet. he had been in water. He scowled at me, apparently not happy to see me still there. I wished I could share with him what the amazing solid wall of nothing was doing to me. He again picked up the sticks, and stuck a piece of cardboard on each one. He tried to pick me up again, but I outsmarted him this time aswell. It was easy-I just resorted to the wing-flapping-to-and-fro-walk along the window. He lost it again, called me a “pea brain” and went away. I was again left to myself. I started looking through the solid wall of nothing.
Was thinking what to do, when the bugger came in again. This time he really came close, and started throwing clothes over me. I wanted to tell him I wasnt cold. But apparently he understood anyway, because he took them away himself. After this, he stood looking at me for a long time, occasionally hitting around me with the stick. I made sure that my body language wasnt showing any fear.
The human then put on a plastic bag over his hand, and came really close. And then he tried to pick me up! As soon as he did that, I flapped, and he jerked away violently. He stepped back, and shuddered from head to toe. I realized then and there that he was scared out of his wits too.
After another long staring-at-me session, he came back and picked me up. He was holding me firmly this time, so I couldnt flap. I just had to resign to fate. He carried me to another window, and let me go. I couldnt believe it! I was not his meal!
I met misses oustide, and we unanimously decided against moving here. Our old neighborhood was good for us.
Sitting on the familiar branch now, I realize that I learnt a lot from the encounter with the human. But the solid wall of nothing still mystifies me. Misses says that it could be have been a hallucination, a mirage. She had learnt this from one of her friends who goes to a mass feast at the fountain in the city, every Sunday. She had overheard the two human hosts of the feast saying to each other-“If some one wants something badly enough, he could have visons of it everywhere he sees. Hallucinations. This happens mostly in times of extreme mental distress-like when someone is extremely thirsty, hungry or even frightened”
I dismissed this theory. I did not want misses to believe that I was in “extreme mental distress”, lest she think me a coward. But, inwardly…
- Diary of a Pigeon! (ardgillancollegeenglish.wordpress.com)