Some things are meant to be enjoyed. You can’t do anything else with them. A melody so raucous, vibrant that you hear yourself singing along and wondering when you learnt the tune. That is when it makes sense to accept that birds can be your friends. They had created enough nests for you not to understand why the thorn bush didn’t break under the assault of their colony. Maybe the music held it up.
From the safe perch of the breakfast verandah adjoining their world, I sat with my cup of tea and whispered to whichever of them would understand ‘I accept that this is your territory. I just came to admire you…’. The mound of island they’d taken over was regrettably too small and crowded with them to allow human visits. In any event, they were so lavish with their ablutions that it was best not to go near – if you wanted to save your person and clothes. I wouldn’t be fooled by the music and color.
Such variations in color. Lemon green wings topped yellow underbellies below brown backs and black beads – getting louder in chirpy chats as the sun calmly arrived from its sojourn around the globe. The birds responded to the sun. Coming out of their nests and showing more and more of themselves in even louder cacophony of choruses and flying even faster from one end of their 10 foot city to another as if to assure the sun of having heard the summons of day. Every now and then a crow flew into the trees and was met with a defiant flutter and upward surge of chatter.
The crocodiles were expected out any moment, seeking the sun from their wet beds at night. Somehow, they studiously ignored the industry of fish, birds and insects on the island. I was just as stubborn. I’d been told that they came with their babies in tandem as the sun’s gold deepened. I wouldn’t be satisfied with just the cacophony of the birds. I waited for the crocs too.
And time rewarded. In moments, they resolutely sought out the railings where a group of happy fifteen year olds obviously on a weekend tour had gathered to feed them. Glided ever so close through the water, eyes closed and pretending friendship, they ate the drops of bread and I was almost convinced that their souls had changed. Until the meat of chicken hung in the air. I saw the steely frames jolt up, mouths and yellow teeth bare and 90 degrees of body aim zip-straight at the chicken dangling on the stick. Expectation hung in the air. Could they jump higher?
Kindness took over and the holder dropped the chicken. Imagine a crowd of crocs seeking this piece! More meat dropped in. The bread was left to flitting little fish. Creation’s diet obviously cared less about the agenda of the human societies for protection of species. Carnivorous scales demanded flesh regardless of the need to protect fowls. But then, when has creation listened to humanity? When had the supernatural not defined the natural? And the sun kept announcing its closeness to earth and demanding submission with time.