Gossip isn’t the prerogative of us humans. Santosh Bakaya stumbles into merry gossip times of the avian and bovine communities.
Enjoy Morning Meanderings Season 2 with your hot cuppa and cookies. ☕🍪😊
The cow was merrily chewing the grass in front of our house when two naughty egrets started indulging in mischief. One pecked it from the right and another from the left, hopping away the moment the cow tried to avoid their cheeky assaults.
Peeping through the window and being a mute witness to the cow’s discomfiture was pretty unfair, I guessed, so I stepped out stealthily to shoo away the avian mischief mongers. She needed to be rescued from these two naughty egrets.
Hearing some footsteps, one egret took a hopping flight to the cow’s back – looking around with the air of an arrogant conqueror, and the other one continued pecking at her with all the spunk at its command. In between all that hopping and pecking, they broke into an excited chatter, loaded with gossip, I could guess.
With one egret merrily perched on her back, and the other pecking her continuously, the cow plodded forth like a reluctant stoic – straight into a water puddle!
A jogger who received a few muddied splashes on his brand new tracksuit, uncorked such a potent expletive that the stunned cow almost fell into the water pond with an aghast look but just balanced herself in time.
Before my heart could burst out of its shackles and go out to the beleaguered cow, I found another cow trotting in her direction. She had a concerned look on her bovine face and I knew help was on the way.
Having no desire to eavesdrop on bovine heart-to-heart talk, I took a few more steps forward when I heard a loud chatter.
A boisterous group of youngsters was heading back from their morning walk in a high state of conviviality, talking of the vagaries of work-from-home, vaccination shots, sanitizers, a masked existence, and the good old days.
I was appalled to see that none of them was wearing a mask. Before I could express my views on this improper behavior, I heard a voice – “You are educated people, and still you refuse to wear masks. If not for yourself, at least for the safety of others, please wear your masks.”
It was the voice of the old woman who lived a few apartments away from our flat, and whose two sons stayed abroad.
“But, we have our masks with us!” All of them chorused in one voice, quickly pulling out masks from their pockets and wearing them with a sheepish air. One kept the mask hanging from one ear like an oversized earring. The other pushed it below the chin. After all, the chin should be protected, its the most vulnerable!
“You are not supposed to keep your masks in your pockets, beta,” she said in such a sweet voice that the boys had no choice but to smile through their masks. The oversized earring was reluctantly pulled across the face and the chin protector moved up too.
“Arrey, you have once again forgotten your mask, you scatterbrain!” The shriek was tinged with an air of menacing wifely authority. This alarm bell was shouting from the window of the neighbouring house.
The man who seemed quite used to being called a scatterbrain, scurried back into the house to get his mask, raced out, looked up with his masked face to his wife, hopped into his car and literally sat on the accelerator to buzz off.
Meanwhile, the bovine gossip had come to an end, and the two cows were heading in two different directions. But what brought a smile to my masked lips was the fact that the two egrets had now appropriated one cow each.
The cows plodded on with a phlegmatic equanimity, the egrets joyously hitching free rides on the bovine backs – unmasked-free-unshackled. In a happy space.
I think I could turn and live with animals,
they are so placid and self-contained
I hear Sr. Celicia reciting Walt Whitman to Sixth-grade students, and in my memory card, a pigtailed girl fades in, her eyes fixed towards the classroom window outside which, the cows are calmly grazing in the meadow. My memory card hadn’t stored whether there were egrets riding the cows piggy-back. But yes, the processing was faster than an intel chip – the data fetched was 50 years old in less than a nanosecond.
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