We acquired a baby bulbul by accident. And our lives were never the same again. It happened this way….
Outside our kitchen window we have a large “curry leaves” tree. A bulbul couple made their nest there. We were thrilled to watch the eggs hatch to small bulbul chicks. Then the time came for them to fly away. One did. The other just sat there looking silly. The parents coaxed, threatened, cajoled. The chick refused to budge. The parents did the next best thing – they abandoned it without a second thought. To us, who were documenting this entire event, it was bad news. We had no choice but to rescue this ball of hungry feathers and save it from a cruel fate of hungry predators.
What does a bulbul baby eat? Anything! But it had to be fed. Every half an hour! We had to get a cage and the process of rehabilitation began. It was my intention to let it grow strong and then let it fly away – for good. But fate had it otherwise. The pesky little brat started dropping its feathers. Soon it was featherless; waist below and its wings were just two stumps. Three months passed. The chick grew but its feathers did not.
Now it acquired an attitude! It will not eat stale fruit. It will not drink stale water. It demands garden walks of not less than 15 minutes at a time. This need is entirely at its own discretion. If you try to put it back into its cage when it is not ready it becomes a guided missile and attacks your fingers! Occasionally it falls into its own crap as it has no wings and therefore no balance. Then it lies legs up and calls out rudely to you to move your butt. If you thought you needed to wash off the crap, it reverts to a heat-seeking missile straight from hell. Sometimes it demands earthworms. After you have dug up half the garden, spent half an hour and come up with 2 worms, it decides it has lost its appetite for worms. If you try to teach it to whistle, it shows you its red-feathered rump. If you put on the TV, it whistles like an eve teaser.
So, do you think we would like to give this little monster away? Never! Partially feathered, annoying, temperamental, aggressive, moody and extremely vocal, we have come to love this little fellow. But we still pray it finds its aviation feathers so it could one day fly away and make a nest of its own. But until then, we are the ones who are in a cage and he’s the one who pulls our strings!
Read more in my book:
Imaculada de Bomba Cabral’s Mango Tree and other Nonsense tales:
Kindle version: https://www.amazon.in