Bobby and Vincy had just entered the house. And, with their entrance, there arose an overwhelming welcome. The entire clan of Mr. Gupta came hovering in and around them. Bobby in Blue and Vincy in yellow, two timid, fluffy and petite Australian love birds looked around their owners from their cage. Those small curious eyes questioned immense things to the humans, all beyond deciphering. Crackling of voices of the humans seemed like an apocalypse to them.
“Chinky, be gentle kid. They are very delicate.” Said Mr. Gupta
The kids in the house Chinky and Prince were totally inseparable by now. At one moment they would gaze at the birds and at another, they would nudge the entire cage. And if all that wasn’t enough, those consistent pokes by Prince within the cage bars almost questioned the human decorum.
All this chaos wasn’t going unnoticed in Simba’s eyes. Simba, a grown up Labrador of cream color who would wag his tail the moment he would see Mr. Gupta and get cuddled by him. But, today, the owner was busy with the new entrants. Mr. Gupta was entertaining the birds with all his might. Simba from one corner in the room was making a quiet sneak peek at the birds.
“Huh! Those colored cotton balls. Those? What is so interesting about them?” thought Simba.
At the first sight of Mr Gupta in the room, Simba prudently made his way towards him. Tail wagged at its best – To and fro! To and fro! Mr. Gupta all absorbed in birds, gave a forgettable pat on Simba’s back. Uncontended, the canine preferred lying next to Mr. Gupta.
“Chi!Chi!Chi!Chi!” – Bobby and Vincy elevated their voice in chorus and gave some harmless bites to the fingers which were poked inside the cage. It was all love and some more love around.
While, Chinky was all engrossed in feeding grains, prince brought some water. Bobby and Vincy basked in the glory of unexpected attention and care.
Craning his neck behind, Simba tilted his head a little more to inquire the new guests.
“They don’t look like my humans. There is something feathery about them.” – Simba.
Mr. Gupta lifted the cage and placed it on his lap. He brought Simba a little closer and said,” look Simba, our new pets. Look! Look!”
Simba fixed his nose on the cage railings and wondered, “Ah! Look at these cotton balls human! Look at those small eyes!”
Threatened by a giant canine face fixed on the cage, Bobby and Vincy almost predicted catastrophe.
Bobby to Vincy, “Don’t worry honey! It is just another predator. You will be safe.”
Vincy, “Yes! Yes! We will be. We have the humans by our side.”
Staring! And some more unspoken feud! All happened between the three.
On Chinky and Prince’ insistence, Mrs. Gupta kept the birds in the kids’ room. The night was all calm and cozy. Bobby and Vincy all fluffy and calm by now, embraced each other and kissed till eternity.
The next morning, as Chinky and Prince made way to school, Mrs. Gupta got busy in household chores. While dusting, she said, “Where do you think, we should keep the birds?”
Mr. Gupta unfolding the newspaper, “This isn’t any Herculean task Seema! Keep them anywhere. Probably verandah?”
Mrs. Gupta, “We will hang them with the rope for clothes. What do you say?”
Mr. Gupta while searching for keys at the shelf, “No problem. And I guess Simba isn’t really amused with them. So, keep a distance may be. Let’s meet in the evening. Bye.”
Mrs. Gupta hung the cage as discussed and placed the cups of water and food respectively inside the cage.
Some wind and some warm sunlight from the holes of their cover – everything was simply perfect for Bobby and Vincy to stay close.
Vincy, “These humans are warm.”
Bobby, “Yea! But I never get that nudging. They move us head to toe.”
Vincy,”Look there comes another human”
Mrs Gupta with a host of wet clothes came to the balcony. She put the cage down on the accented platform and covered it with a piece of cloth. Simba followed from behind.
Sniffing the cage, Simba fallaciously removed the cloth. The sudden strike of direct sunlight left the birds shaken for a moment.
And again, the canine fixed his nose at the cage.
“Look at you cotton balls! You poop that morsel!” assumed Simba.
Mrs. Gupta all jittered at the site, “Simba! Simba! You aren’t supposed to piss there. Come this side Come this side! Or I will whack you.”
Simba steadily made a way to Mrs. Gupta and followed her till downstairs.
For Bobby and Vincy, the next few days again went beautiful with adoration all around. The kids in the house kept roaming around the cage day and night, feeding them, giving bath and watching them grow. The birds were now equal to a trophy in the vicinity. The kids would call the nearby gang of broods and boast them how their father imported these from Australia. Bobby and Vincy partially amused with the commotion, wanted a shield to protect them from those continuous pushes.
Being centered right in the middle of the Verandah, the entire populace in the locale could see them. Just when the entire world realized them, for the stray cat in the flat, this did not go discreet. He knew his feast was right here.
With the passage of time, the honeymoon treatment to these birds was now fading. The cage would remain under direct sunlight at a stretch. Often, the Guptas would forget to feed them. For kids, the pet birds were now just another part of life. The green chili offered to them meant a deliberate trouble. Unfed, mostly they were now.
Simba would easily cross them around, grind his teeth, ogle, and do a little growl.
Bobby and Vincy would squeak a little in protest and then crumple within each other. They felt their days more perilous now.
As, Mr. Gupta was out on his work and the lady was engulfed in household chores, Simba steadily took a turn to the cage kept at the verandah. The kids were out and it was the ideal time to go nose to nose with the birds.
Simba was all in mood to inquire the birds as they seemed to be guests forever. Popping his head from the half open door, Simba knew the birds were now in his control.
“Ah! You tiny cotton balls! I see, you have been here for a long time now. Let me piss a little!” – growled Simba.
And as he lifted up his leg, Bobby prepared himself to guard the two.
“You treacherous dog, thou want to slay my Vincy, take it lad – here it is eeeeeee haaaaaaaaa!!!!!” There went Bobby flying from up there and then down. All in the cage!
Simba, “Huh! My human is calling.”
Gazing at the startling Bobby’s griping action; Simba took a turn, zigged and zagged his buttocks in haste and went downstairs.
Petrified by the attack, the birds were now in a perpetual alert mode. But, their dwindling ability made them lesser ready to dissent the next time. Seeking food, they would raise their voice only to attract the stray cat loitering around. The miniature fox intended to seek a way closer to them.
Today, after repetitive efforts, the cat briskly made a narrow entry by the sides of the verandah barricades. The Gupta kin was glued in the TV.
Suddenly, shrieking voice came downstairs. Chinky and Prince ran towards upstairs along with Simba to inquire what went wrong. Horrified and shriveled at the site, the kids came running towards the cage.
Simba chased away the cat – Bobby couldn’t be rescued.
He was by now in the grip of the cat. Vincy remained stagnant in one corner all shivering and shaking.
The cage was brought down and kept near the TV. Heated arguments followed between the Guptas on all the whys? And hows?
The kin decided to keep Vincy nearby and protected. She was living dead. The grains and the cup of water remained stagnant and untouched.
Mr. Gupta, “Birds live together, die together.”
Simba came closer to the cage, fixed his nose at the cage bars again. This time Vincy was frail but fearless. She looked up with pale and waning eyes at the canine. No voice! No chirp anymore!
Simba, “Huh! You cotton balls! I will miss you.”