It’s 7am. The sky is not even bright. Like all new borns, the little ones are already crying for food. Their beaks open up to the sky. The parents are out but soon they’ll be back with breakfast, and midmorning snack, then lunch, then tea… It seems the work is never done, each taking turns to return with spiders, grasshoppers, crickets, moths.
It’s been ten days since they’re hatched. Feathers already cover the wings and parts of their pink bodies. Their heads are out even higher now, bobbing up and down as they compete for food. Their eyes are finally opened.
Everyday I worry they’ll fall prey to the crows or mynahs scavanging nearby. The nest is visible in my sparsely grown Japanese Bamboo, made even sparser by the paparazzis who were stationed at my house over the weekend. They needed an unblocked view, and so, snip snip went some leaves and stalks. I peer in and shake the pot, and the babies become quiet. Yes, that should be the way. Stay quiet unless papa or mama is near by. You don’t want to go the way of your siblings who died tragically last year, just as they were about to fletch. How hard your parents work raising you. In the storm, I see your parent’s body spread over the nest as they shelter you, his/her own body getting drenched and chilled by the wind. They make me (and my kids) realise the greatness of parental love.
So grow up safe and fly away, my bulbul babies, so that I have reason to bring out the cigars (where to get and what to do with them are besides the point) and celebrate with Doreen, my bird watcher neighbour.