The Birth

In the last days of winters, the man woke up to hear a rumbling sound in the balcony. It was the pigeon flapping its wings for some reason. It flew away into darkness as soon as the man opened the door to the balcony. Tumbling, toppling, it managed to find its way to the nearby balcony, but never let go its gaze off the man’s balcony.

Then he ignored it and went away to sleep. As soon as the man went back to sleep, the pigeon came back to the balcony and made sounds. This time the man let it be like that, probably he felt that the pigeon too should get a good night sleep.

After a few days, the man returned to his balcony. The pigeon sitting there flew away instantly, and sat on the opposite balcony. The man loved to see the sunset, and so he saw… The sun was about to sink into the ground, but the clouds of impurity released from the chimney of a thermal station had already started corroding sunlight. The sun slowly gave up its fight against that smoke and sank into the path from which smoke came out. The chimney finally ate out the sun…

The man watched the sunset thinking thousands of things in his life, when he came to know that the pigeon was still watching him constantly without moving anywhere. He found it weird that the pigeon had so much interest. After watching around the balcony, he came to know that the pigeon had laid an egg in one corner of the balcony, and was worriedly watching over for that egg.

The man closed the door of the balcony, giving the pigeon privacy to care for its egg.

For few days, the man never opened the balcony door, thinking that it would scare away the pigeon and would have to leave its egg vulnerable.

But one day, the constant crowing of a crow woke up the man. He went outside to see what was wrong with that crow. The crow was sitting on the opposite balcony, with his eyes on the man’s balcony. And the pigeon couple was constantly flying in his balcony and going away. The man understood that the crow meant to harm the egg and the pigeon couple was trying to save their kid.

The man helped the pigeon to shoo away that crow after a few tries of throwing different twigs and stones at the crow. But the man feared that the crow would return again. So, he brought an old pot from his house and kept it in the balcony. He wanted to put the egg inside it, but worried that the pigeons might think otherwise.

So, again for few days, he didn’t open the door of the balcony for the pigeons to figure out the arrangement themselves.

The pigeons, naturally, feared the man that he might capture them or harm their egg. But they also knew that the man had once ignored the egg and so probably, the crow was their bigger enemy. Turn by turn, they started guarding for the egg, thereby, one pigeon would always stay for the protection of the egg. But, as the crow was more powerful that the pigeons, they had to find some other alternative.

They saw the pot everyday, but never went inside it, thinking that it might just be another trap built by the humans.

But after a few days, mother pigeon took courageous step by jumping into the pot. She managed to jump in after several failed attempts, and as soon as she jumped, the whole pot wobbled due to the round bottom of the pot. The pigeon grabbed on to the floor till the pot was stable. Then it tried coming out of the pot. With several attempts again, it managed to make that perfect jump to directly come out of the pot.

This way, it knew that the pot was a perfect place to build a nest, where its egg and even the future baby pigeon will be safe from that crow, as the crow will not be able to fit through the pot mouth.

The movement of the pot and the sound of wobbling woke up the man at night. He knew that the pigeons have finally understood his intention and was happy for that. Next morning, he opened the balcony door to see what the pigeons did for all those days. The pot had moved its place from one edge to the other in the balcony, probably due to constant moving and wobbling with its round bottom surface. When the man saw inside the pot, it was filled one-forth with twigs and sticks, the worst designed bird nest he had seen so far.

He put the egg on the top the nest and went away.
After a few days, the man saw inside the pot and found that the pigeon was comfortably sitting on the egg inside the pot.

Suddenly, the pigeon inside the pot came to know about the man watching and it made a jump to come out of the pot, hastily. Its hurried attempts were more prone to failure than its earlier attempts. So, it failed to come out of the pot and stayed in there, scared, afraid of the man. The man smiled at his attempts and quietly went back inside the house, closing the door softly.

Soon, the pigeon got out of the pot and flew away, the man heard from the other side of the door.

This continued for a few days. Soon, the pigeon understood that the man meant no harm and so it didn’t attempt running away as soon as the man opened the balcony door. However, it constantly would see through the pot mouth towards the man and his movements. Fear of humans for animals is not so easily curable, after all the things that we do to them.

The egg soon started to show signs of nearby hatch-time. And the pigeon too, started being more and more concerned for the egg when the man came out into the balcony. It would now cover the egg completely and look at the man until the door is closed fully, even during nights.

After a few days, the man heard quiver movements of the pot and heard a shriek like sound of an animal. He came out of in the balcony to see the pot and saw that there was a tiny little head of a baby pigeon coming out of the egg. The mother or father pigeons were not around. The man watched the baby push its legs out of the egg and falling on the nest ground. It didn’t look anything like a pigeon. It was dark, brown-black in color and was so tiny that it didn’t even look like a bird. It made a cry like sound that the man had never heard a pigeon make. Was that egg of some other bird, the man thought.

But the sight of baby pigeon being born and come out of its egg was the best thing he had ever seen.

The mother pigeon and father pigeon came flying to the balcony. Mother pigeon went directly inside the pot, even with the man standing out in the balcony. And the father pigeon waited outside, standing on the railings, watching the man’s movements.

The man felt that he should probably leave the family alone and hence, he closed the door and went back to sleep.

After a few days, again the baby pigeon was alone in the pot. It crying sounds that made the man very uncomfortable. What was with that kid, he thought. He went outside and saw that baby pigeon. It made no movements as he saw the man looking at it. The man observed it for sometime and then went back. The pigeon started crying again. The man came back with some broken pieces of food, crushed it and put it into the pot. But the bird took no notice of that. It kept looking at the man, fear in its eyes.

The man left the kid alone and after a few days, when he again saw inside the pot. The mother pigeon was sitting with the baby pigeon, and those bits and pieces of food that he had put inside were as they were. Not even one piece was eaten by them. Don’t trust anything human, pigeon eyes said.

One fine morning, the man came out to see the pot again. The baby pigeon was sitting inside quietly and the mother and father pigeon were not there. Probably to bring him some food, he thought. He went back inside. After a few hours, he heard rumbling of the pot, as if the pigeon was moving in and out of it hurriedly.

He went out to see that the baby pigeon was out of the pot. He got scared and tried persuading the baby bird to go back inside the pot. It wasn’t safe for him to go out on its own, he couldn’t even fly properly.

The man tried going towards picking him up, but that made the bird fear and jump away from him. The bird jumped to. E edge of the balcony and this scared the man. If the baby fell off the balcony he wouldn’t even be able to fly.

Seeing that, the man quickly went inside the house and peeked through the small space. The baby pigeon climbed on the top of the pot, but wasn’t quite sure as to how to jump into the pot. He had not tried it once and there was no one to teach him. The man wished that the parent pigeons come back soon as the kid would only listen to them.

The baby pigeon was not able to jump inside, probably afraid of getting hurt. It went and sat in a corner of the balcony and started making small squeaking sounds.

The man closed the door and waited for the parent pigeons to come. His heart still wanted to help the kid, but his brain knew that the baby bird will get afraid of him and won’t accept his help. He felt sad that the image of humans was so scary for these animals.

After some time, the baby pigeon stopped squeaking, and there was a rumbling sound of the pot. Finally the parents pigeon were back and they would help the baby bird back into the pot, thought the man. After a while. when all sounds stopped, he went out to look inside the pot.

There was nothing in the pot, just the empty nest. The baby bird was not in the balcony. Only two-three small feathers of baby bird were lying in one corner. The man saw around in the precincts for some sign, but there was no one there. No baby pigeon and no parent pigeons. Could the baby bird have flown away? But how could he have! He was so little!

A crow came flying on the opposite balcony. He landed on his legs over the railing and the man saw some feathers fly out of his legs, which were not his own black feathers. They were brownish blue feathers.

The man understood what had happened.

Mother pigeon came flying and sat on the railing of the man’s balcony. It made some sounds, then looking at the man, it jumped on the top of the pot and saw inside. Waited for some time, then saw at the man again. And then flew away.

The crow looked back at the man and flew away, probably with bird smirk on its face. The pigeons never came back.

A tear came gushing out of the man’s eyes… If only, the bird wasn’t so afraid of the man, he could’ve helped it, he thought.

 

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