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Fowl Play

Fowl Play

As a child, I never had any pets. Neither had I allowed my children to keep pets. In such a situation, imagine our excitement when we included the first pets into the family! Our very first pets are 4 birds – One Rooster and three Hens. Their house, the coop was made before they were invited into our house. The birds came in nervous and frightened.

We were advised to feed them and keep them in the coop for 48 hours till they recognised Second Chance House as their home. At night, my city bred son was tempted to go and check on their well-being and let them know that they are secure. I told him it would be like a tiger coming to check if we were safe and sleeping well. Some things just must be given time to adjust. Too much help can often become a hindrance.

As they were taken out of the coop for acclimatisation to their new abode, they were confused. They nervously fluttered around. One of the hens ran away and had to be caught and brought back. However, it was an eye-opener to see how soon they accepted their new dwellings. We take them out of their coop every morning and after their jaunt around the world they know, they come back to roost in their coops every evening. We have named them Gabbar, Leelawati, Padmavati and Mayavati.

Of course, we get tasty, free range, organic eggs now. They are much smaller in size as compared to the ones that you get in the markets. The fun part is that the hens lay eggs anywhere and everywhere. It is quite a treasure hunt to look for and find the eggs. The trick is if you see a hen sitting somewhere for long, she is probably laying eggs. I wonder, is the tradition of hiding eggs during easter connected to this phenomenon?

It is quite a treat to see Gabbar leading and his harem following. To disturb his peaceful kingdom, suddenly, a neighbour’s dog enters and chasing the fowl all around. There is flapping of wings and barking and alarmed clucking and such chaos! Reminds me of Old Mc Donald’s farm with the dogs and the hens.

Pradip, our Sardaar does not like them. They dig up and eat new seeds planted by them. I am not so scared of the prowling leopard as I am of Pradip eating them up one day. In the meantime, it is quite an irony to see them trotting around the kitchen while the oven has a chicken roasting inside!

These direct descendants of the dinosaur are a constant reminder that adaptability is the only way to survive. As I wake up and pour my cup of Dorje Second Flush Tea, I love hearing the sound of the rooster crowing. I do believe in the saying, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. However, I also believe if the rooster is crowing, night must be changing into day!

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