The weather this week has been unpredictable. The sun would be shining brightly in the morning and then at about four in the afternoon, the sky would turn dark and the squall would unleash its power by dumping buckets of water accompanied by lightning and thunder. It’s like that almost daily this week. I am not complaining, as my laundry got dry before the storm, except that I couldn’t go for my evening jogs.
On Thursday morning, while clearing away the leaves blown up by the rain, I spotted a baby pigeon in the corner of my garden. It must have been displaced by the squall the night before. It sat shivering in the shadow. The mother was not around to be seen.
I rang my neighbor, Doreen, who is the bird expert in my neighbourhood. She was still asleep. I left the chick there and hoped it’d somehow disappear later. I posted the photo on my Facebook and received comments from friends on what I should do to rescue the chick, none of which was appealing to me.
A friend called and we chatted and the conversation lead to a discussion on karma. She repeated to me the story on how after nursing her sister during the final days had been rewarding. Her sons achieved exceptional results in the state exams. We ended the conversation on how we should do good without expectations.
At noon, another friend, a nature lover suggested via Facebook that I should contact Acre. I went across the house again to my neighbor for help. She had left for work. (I didn’t know she works some days as an accountant.) Her maid suggested I telephone her. I called her and in the midst of our conversation, she asked, ‘Was it the same type of chicks that dropped from Yvonne’s nest last year?’ She had just reminded me of how I too found two pigeon chicks last year after my next door neighbor chopped down a tree and I left both of them there to die of exposure. She suggested I try to repair the nest with wire and returned the chick to the nest with gloved hands (or the mother will reject the chick), or take the chick in and feed it with warm milk. (Huh, chicks drink milk?) Desperate, I asked if I can just leave it alone. Her parting shot to me was, try to save it lah, good for your karma. This weekend tio beh pio (win lottery or 4D).
All this talk about karma spurred me to save the chick. First, I tried to repair the nest but the mess of stick was beyond repair.
Then, I couldn’t find any gloves. The last cotton pair was worn by Mike and was soaking in soap water. In the end, I found a pair of rubber kitchen glove and put the chick into a plastic container. Then I called my bird friend Pearly, who had suggested I hand rear the chick, but she did not answer my call. I checked YouTube on how to feed a pigeon. The thing about baby pigeon is that unlike other birds, it doesn’t open the mouth for food, but will instead stick its beak into the mother’s mouth for food, hence the long beak. I decided I have no confidence of hand rearing the chick.
Finally, I called Jurong Bird Park. The nice lady on the line told me to bring the chick in. They would rear it, and if it’s sick, would nurse it back to health before releasing it into the wild. My savior!
And so, the chick is now safe in the hands of the expert. I texted my neighbor to tell her the news. Her reply? ‘Waah, that’s very kind of you. HUAT AH!!!’