A Little Boy and Passenger Pigeon

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    Many years ago, in a village named Akara in the south of Hindustan, lived a fowler. The poor fowler’s family of three depended on how many birds he hunted every day. If no hunting on any dismal day, no food for the day to the family. Nevertheless the fowler’s nine-year old son didn’t know what his father’s profession was, for their livelihood. Whilst the father himself felt ashamed of declaring it pompously. After all, he didn’t know any other profession to do, and for the pride’s sake he couldn’t leave his family to starve.
    “Papa, what are you?” said the little boy.
    “Why, dear?”
    “For my teacher asked each of us today, ‘what’s your father?’ And I didn’t say for I didn’t know.”
    “I will tell you tomorrow morning, my boy,” said the father, expectantly–the boy would forget it by next morning. So he did.
    They lived in a little hut with as many holes in the roof, as the stars zenith–those emerge through the holes, whence the dusk embark, twinkling at them while sleeping underneath. But the little boy in the little hut felt it was the best house he could ever have.
    “Mamma, you see?” exclaimed the little boy excitedly to his mother, who sat before the outdoor kitchen–with an oven made up of mud, had just been cooking rice on one side and Sambar on the other side, and herself clouded up by the smolder and shoving the twigs into the fire. “The stars are smiling at me.”
    “Yes–yes, dear!” said the lady in ragged sari clad around her work-worn body, through the smoke.
    “Papa–where are you?” garbled the little boy, astonished, as if had discovered a goldmine. “Papa–I found that one–I found that one–amazing–”
    “Why, my son,” said the father coolly, “what did you find?”
    “A falling star!” exclaimed the little boy animatedly. “I saw it skedaddled down and seemed to fall on me, but suddenly disappeared in air.”
    “Oh, my son!” exclaimed the father as if astonished as much as the little boy had, “that’s a moving star! Did you pray for something?”
    “What prayer–” puzzled the little boy. “I haven’t.”
    “Not prayer–pray,” said the father, chuckled. “A wish.”
    “What would’ve happened if I’d had made a wish?”
    “If you’d wished for something when you saw it moving, before it disappeared, you would’ve had stroked of a luck.”
    “Really, Papa?” exclaimed the little boy, astounded.
    “I just read it somewhere, dear,” said the father, and not to upset the boy, he added, “but my friend said it had worked out for him.”
    “What did he wish, Papa?”
    “He wished for a big chocolate for his daughter.”
    “A chocolate?” surprised the little boy, and whispered the later statement, “Poor man–wouldn’t he get a chocolate anywhere else? If I’d known about it earlier, I’d have wished for something else–much bigger–more reasonable.”
    The little boy took those words seriously–about the moving star. Every evening he waited eagerly for the dark sky dotted with numerous stars, and stared at it curiously until his eyes rested to slumber–for a moving star. But he didn’t discover any such thing for many days.
    * * *
    On a sun-drenched third Friday morning of a sizzling April, the fowler walked through the countryside which was beautiful around the small village where he lived. The chestnut trees were in full flower and the hawthorn was white along the hedges. To reach the big sanctuary arranged by nature itself, he had first to walk down a narrow hedgy lane for half a mile. Then he must cross two railway lines, and go round the big lake. Beyond the lake, lay the area full of trees where he hunts for some birds every day.
    But this day appeared peculiar. No birds he did confront zenith his head and beneath the clean, empty white clouds in the sky. “How bizarre it’s today?” he thought. As never this place looked so empty as today. “Certainly, the strangest day!” he repeated to himself in quiet amazement. Whatever the incongruity his eyes saw couldn’t convince the belly calming down its hunger. He had to hunt some birds for sure. He had to sell them. So he sat on a hedge with his tool.
    Suddenly his eagle-eyes caught sight of two beautiful birds, appeared like pigeons but each of a turkey size, resting on a long branch of a shaggy oak tree. He perplexed if he’d been dreaming, for he never witnessed such strange birds. He hesitated for a while as his head twirled suddenly. Countryside households here would believe in a lot for omens. He dithered for a moment thinking it could be a bad omen. But not for my stomach nor my son’s, he thought.
    His profession wouldn’t belong to something like working with a team, rather only himself he would find every time, performing every piece of chore–making his tools to hunt–finding a location for his work–finding the customers (birds)–hunting them–fetching them–selling them to another customers (some rich people who always eager to eat all kinds of birds and animals). The only good thing for this man’s profession was he needn’t pay any taxes whatever his earnings were. After all, his earnings for a day hardly make a saving by the evening.
    He gazed at the two big, strange birds sitting on the twig. But he knew by his vast experience, when more than one bird grouped to sit closely, not more than one of them could be hit, while the others would be watchful to fly as high and as far as they could.
    The fowler was very good with fingers, same as his eyes. It would hardly need a second stone begging for a second chance to hit the same bird anew which might have missed by the first. Never it happened by his record. One stone… one bird… FATT–it should fall against the earth’s surface not escaping from the inevitable gravitation.
    The fowler held the rear part of his tool, that appeared more like a handle of a cricket bat, firmly gripped with one hand. Thence he picked a round stone from his dhoti’s pocket. Placed it exactly amid the two sideward hands of the Y-shaped tool, touching the elastic chord, and holding together placing amid his left hand’s thumb and forefinger. He pulled the elastic chord along with the stone touching it firmly and ready to be released. Then lifted the whole set-up up to rest it in the air perfectly at the level of his sharp eyes. And keeping the line not to be disturbed, inclined it just upwards aiming to one of the two strange pigeons through the shining green leaves reflecting the sunlight brightly.
    He closed his eyes. Now slowly giving-up his concentration upon songs of the birds, cries of the winds, sways of the stems and whispers of the leaves. Focusing on only one thing–the pigeon. He opened his eyes after a moment’s meditation and stared at one of the pigeons over the string and the stone together, and then through the tiny gap amid big greenish leaves. More snugly now with an inch’s extra pull, he released the chord. Consequently, like a young bull released for a bull-fight, the little round stone bombarded the wind, penetrated through it coiling the air-particles and collided one of the two most beautiful pigeons within a wink’s time.
    The fowler’s eyes turned rapidly down to the earth where he found the pretty pigeon laying tranquil as if sleeping, but forever. When he paced near to the little fallen body with a blood drop dangling on the feather, flabbergasted the fowler. It’s a complete different one. Most beautiful of the pigeon breed he had ever witnessed. To be more precise, the most beautiful pigeon he ever killed. Even after death, the feathers were shining with an utter glow.
    He almost forgot about the other pigeon, seeing that absolutely conjured his eyes a new type of pigeon laid in front of him. Either he had a sense that it might had jumped off and fly far away at once when it saw its friend had been shot to death; or no more interested in bothering another pigeon for the day. Only after a while, it confirmed that the former anticipation was what had happened. The fowler forgot about the accompanied bird on the branch while he hunted one of them which had just been rested in peace. Before he grabbed the deceased pigeon, he stunned and taken aback glancing at the other pigeon stood unmoved at the exact place but slapping on the twig with its wings and making growling and grunting noises. The fowler perplexed and stood back not touching the dead one and staring at the strange alive pigeon. And then moving his eyes along with the chin up and down now and then from departed pigeon laying on the ground and growling and grunting pigeon on the stem.
    Without a second thought, hastily he clutched his bird-killing tool and aimed to the short necked bird slapping its wings furiously on the twig; and moving its fan-shaped tails briskly. “I never saw a bird behaving this crazy way,” he said to himself aloud. Afresh he closed his eyes. After a moment’s time, he opened his eyes and gazed at the furious yet miraculously unblemished pigeon over the string and the stone together, and this time he’s under the tree, so no leaf in middle to alter. Now with an inch’s extra pull, he unconfined the chord. Accordingly, like a starving royal Bengal tiger released from its cage into the busy streets of Kolkata, the stubborn black stone racing akin to a bullet train and tearing off the invisible layers of air, piercing and twirling the air-particles and smacked on the twig missing the strangely-behaving pigeon before the fowler batted his eye.
    “F-o-r t-h-e…” the fowler mumbled, surprised. “For the first time, I missed one.” The pigeon still did not fly away. It’s making growling and grunting noises louder and louder and moving its fan-shaped tails faster and faster. Suddenly the fowler’s heart started racing. He felt a serious pain in his head. He couldn’t bare it. It’s getting deeper and deeper as if someone drilling with a needle into his forehead.
    Again he aimed at the infuriated bird picking up another stone from his pocket and placing it in position together with the string.
    Concentrated… Released… Bang…
    It had fallen deliberately so that to be placed itself very close to the earlier one. Just it had hoped, in a hair’s distant from the other, the new customer laid on the earth with the pull of the Newton discovered gravitation. But it didn’t die immediately. It sucked in air in difficulty. Inhale One: it glanced at the fowler. Exhale One: it glanced at the departed pigeon. Inhale Two: again it glanced at the fowler. Exhale two: again it glanced at the other pigeon. Inhale three: it fixed the eyes on the fowler. And the pigeon was dead. Indeed murdered. Murdered viciously. Murdered hardheartedly.
    The fowler didn’t move for a minute. He was only staring into the round and beautiful blue eyes of the recently departed pigeon–in horror.
    Did the eyes communicate something? The fowler sat beside the two dead pigeons peeking now and then from one to the other. He wanted to check the genders of the two pigeons because he doubted them to be mates. But one can’t tell male pigeons from female based on color because disparate mammals they don’t have visible reproductive organs. Some people would say, it is possible to visually determine the gender of pigeons based on appearance and behavior.
    The fowler had his own technique of finding the gender of pigeon. He smoothly clutched the formerly departed pigeon and placed a finger between the vent bones. So he did to the latter one. The space between vent bones on first pigeon is typically narrower than the second, whose are spaced wider to accommodate egg laying. So he came to a conclusion that the initially departed pigeon was a male and the later departed pigeon was a female. He also did other tests with his vast experience of working on dead pigeons. But the only difference was, these strange pigeons were much bigger and more beautiful.
    “Oh my God!” he exclaimed. “They are mates.” But he wasn’t very much a fool as he appeared. He knew nothing he could do now. Except looking for a fine customer in the nearby town to sell the flesh. He headed towards town with his most valuable collection of the day. He reached there in half-an-hour and sat in a corner of a fish market where he would sit every day until the flesh of his hunted birds’ get a good deal of its worth. Not a long time he had to wait. Out there were a plenty of bird lovers; not to nourish them nor to feed them; but to taste them as a soup in their metallic bowl or crush the meat under their monster jaws. Lot of people surrounded him staring at the most pretty pigeons ever they had witnessed. Even though they were no more alive for the heaven’s sake, they are appearing like a glittering gold on their feathers. As only two of them were available, everyone rushed and offered money just more than what one had heard from the other. Never it happened before at the invisible shop of this poor fowler. He flabbergasted. He thought that he would definitely make at least fifty paisa today. Only perplexing mind he had, but whom to sell? Finally on the advice of an old gentleman, the two lovely pigeons were laid down for a bid. So that whoever would offer money that no other could dare to challenge, he would get the amazing pigeons flesh.
    “OK man,” said the old gentleman showing his wide false teeth to the fowler. “Shout loudly an initial price to your great collection of the day.”
    “You have given the advice, sir,” the fowler said with mumbling words. “Also value it an initial price.” So the old man did.
    He turned at the big crowd who were fighting to glance at the shining pigeons, and announced loudly spattering against the nearest woman, “Fifty paisa.” In now-a-days, it’s nothing in India as the ‘paisa’ had already been proscribed from its currency. Fifty paisa means exactly half the value of one rupee.
    “Sixty paisa,” shouted a young man.
    “Seventy paisa,” an old lady screamed this time.
    “Ninety paisa,” whispered a middle-aged man standing right away in front of the fowler.
    “One rupee,” yelled an old man. Hundred paisa was one rupee.
    “One rupee and fifty paisa,” shrieked another old man.
    And it’s soaring up and up. The shivering fowler sit as still as a rock with a strange amazement that whether he would become a rich man in a single day. The highest amount ever I pocketed for my day’s collection was forty paisa, he though himself. For a while his body was in trance. He couldn’t believe what he had been witnessing now.
    And when he drew back the curtains bringing himself to the light out of his own imaginations he listened a say:
    “Five hundred and forty nine rupees.”
    The fowler almost fainted. He could live for years with that money and with an equal status of any other rich landlord in his village. He could buy a new house. He could join his son in the best school in the town similar to the child of a lawyer or a doctor or an engineer or a civil servant. The fowler couldn’t believe his eyes for the first time. Everything void it seemed.
    The bid went on and on and it mounted and mounted.
    Then he listened the say of the old gentleman for the first time, who had given the idea to the fowler and shut his mouth till then:
    “Five thousand and sixteen rupees.” It was almost four times what the price preceded to it. A pin-drop-silence fell around for a moment then whispers all around. The fowler jumped in excitement. “Five thousand and sixteen rupees?” he cried, flabbergasted.
    “Yes. Five thousand and sixteen rupees!” the old gentleman repeated and continued, “come with me and collect the money.” The fowler sat in the car of the old gentleman. It must be one of the richest cars in the world in those days. They reached his home and the old gentleman asked him to come inside. But the fowler hesitated. So smoothly rejected and waited outside till the old man came out with a bag full of rupee coins, ten rupee notes and a few hundred rupee notes. Never in his life he had witnessed a hundred rupee note till then. Tears came out subconsciously. He gave the departed pigeons to him and collected the money in cash. Finally he bid a very big and heartfelt Thank You to the old gentleman who changed his life in an hour.
    He walked like a drunkard and strolled down like a turtle, seeing that his head was twirling with splashes of firecrackers bursting inside. Suddenly he waited and looked back. The old gentleman was still standing at behind the front door.
    “What’s the matter with those pigeons?” the fowler said. But the old man did not reply. He smiled broadly showing his full of false teeth except the concealed jaws.
    The fowler went to his hut hastily and shared with his wife the entire story of the day. Now, together they were waiting for their son from the school to share the unbelievable story of the day. Or if they felt he’s too young to share the story that had some violence on pigeons, they would only share their happiness.
    It’s midday now.
    The little boy , he used to be called by everyone who knew him, the son of the fowler. “Little boy!” screamed English Miss shifting the gaze from the boy’s exercise book to him. “Is this the spelling of ‘tomorrow?'” He might wrote ‘m’ for twice as many children would do.
    The boy was very special to everyone who knew him because of his softness and cleverness. Beyond all, he was also strangest in his appearance. He’s very small with an egg-shaped face; his sharp nose pointing downwards that the nostrils seemed to be closed and invisible unless he would raise his chin; his two beautiful, big, blue eyes twinkling and flashing those which batted only once while any other normal person would bat one’s eyelids for five or six times in that time; seldom he would speak as if he speaks, some jewels would be falling down and one would feel the two lips were knitted; his skin was smoother than genuine cotton. He was the strangest boy both physically and mentally the village had ever witnessed.
    Everyone loved him by heart, except three giant boys in the school. Those three were the worst of human kind proving that some of us were still remained as those lethal animals where we came from. All other students would run away looking at them from a distance and they call those half-civilized animals as Monster boys. They hated the little boy because he was special than them.
    Exactly on the strangest day confronted by the fowler, his son, the little boy had experienced something amazing near his school.
    It’s lunch time. The little boy completed his lunch hastily and paced himself to the rear side of the school to do something perilous.
    There was a wall on the rear side of the school just behind the boys toilets. It was a wall of fourteen feet by height and ten feet each by breadth and width. Over it, a giant water tank fitted but hadn’t been using for years. The hedge iron was rusty. One had to mount on it with a ladder to reach the tank, but no one would ever dare to do that as there were gossips that a big snake named Black Mamba with its children was living inside the tank. Also rumors went on that this was the only snake in the world that will chase after you if it sees you. And if it catches you and bites you, you better start saying your prayers. And also hear said that once it saw one of the clerks of the school and chased him and morsel him to death. Being a poorly maintained public school, no one took a responsibility though a threat it must be to the school children if the gossips were true. The only precaution had been taken was not to allow the children near to that wall. This big cube-shaped wall had some stones pulled-out by one or two inches outside. The boy had a bet with some of his seniors in the school that he would climb top of the wall in five seconds and peep into the giant water tank to confirm about the so tittle-tattled big snake. And if he would do it, he would get five paisa each from the twenty seniors. So altogether, one rupee. He did many peculiar things earlier in the school and won five or ten paisa every time. But this was quiet different and risky. After all he thought, one rupee is a big sum and it would bring my family–rice and vegetables enough for at least a week.
    Everyone in the school knew about the peculiarly gifted abilities of the little boy. Now they were ready to see one more.
    The little boy was ready and his mind was completely thinking about that one rupee behind the challenge. He closed his eyes. Now slowly giving-up his concentration upon yells of the boys, stabilized movement of the air, sounds of the pouring toilets by some boys behind him. Now, only one thing he could see and feel–the water tank over the rigid wall. Inhaled a deep breath and in one moment jumped onto the wall like a lizard. Then mounted over it like a spider but faster than it. All the students were cheering and yelling for the little boy. They loved him very much.
    It’s already four seconds completed. One of the senior student staring at the stopwatch and giving the count aloud. Just before he counted five, the little boy was on the top of the wall just fingering the black water tank over the cube-shaped wall, which appeared more like a cap elegantly arranged on a man’s head.
    “4.999 seconds,” shouted the senior boy joyfully showing his stopwatch to everyone around. “Our little boy have made it. Our little boy have made it.” Students rushed around the wall cheering up for their favorite little boy and all the class rooms were empty by now.
    “Little boy…”
    “Little boy…”
    “Little boy…”
    Yells were resounding against the wall. The good thing for them was, this place was though just inside the main fence, it’s quiet far from the staff room, so the sounds would never reach into any of the ears of teachers, unless one of the students would whisper before them.
    Indeed, the wall was touching the main fencing of the school. Behind it were full of trees and shrubs. So definitely there was a firm possibility of what the rumors said about the snake.
    Now, the little boy was mounting on water tank towards its max out. The cheers of the students who were standing and roaring downhill him reached the apex. Once the boy was on the top of the tank, all of them hushed up rapidly and stood on their toes.
    “What if there is a big Black Mamba inside?”
    “What if it sees the little boy?”
    Exactly those two questions running in every student’s mind. Now it’s pin-drop-silent, except the sound of hot air whispering in their ears now and then. The boy clutched one of the handles of the cap of the tank and lifting it up as slowly as stepping towards his Mathematics teacher who was burning furiously with fingers rolled around a thick cane for not answering his question: ‘what is a prime number?’
    The little boy lifted up the cap and peeped into the hallow dusty tank filled with air and dust on the top. But he gazed deep inside. Wasn’t it hollow completely. Something solid he could see. Now he see it coiling itself. Uncoiled now. Again coiled. In one moment, moved its head upside treacherously moving the appalling two slices of broken tongue inside and outside awfully and leisurely, when a light had fallen inside the black shadows of darkness. All of a sudden it stirred up and crawled in air jumping towards the partially opened cap and through it visible the little charming boy. The boy shut the cap at once in full force. It should be almost twice the height of the little boy and half way in width. Yes, it’s the most poisonous BLACK MAMBA.
    And most importantly it seen him so closely. I will ne’er open it for life, he whispered himself enlarging his already big eyes.
    For the hell’s sake, the three monster boys arrived there a while before and had already learnt about the bet.
    “He didn’t peep,” said one of the monster boys.
    “He peeped,” said a boy from the crowd. “Even he sagged his head into the hollow tank.”
    “We say,” another monster boy stepped forward and squabbled, “he didn’t.”
    “He did,” repeated the same boy. The first monster boy smacked him down to earth.
    “What we say is,” now the third monster boy joined grinning himself, “he didn’t.”
    The little boy had already been shivering for what he had seen. It’s definitely dangerous than anything else he had seen till then. Even it’s horrible than the monster boys, he said to himself. But if he didn’t peep again, he wouldn’t get money. Those monsters wouldn’t let him get it. Even they could argue to pay for the losing bet.
    He stood there still shivering, even standing under the sizzling sun of the mid-day. It’s the last day before the summer vacation would start.
    He didn’t know which road to be taken now. At least for two minutes there was a dead silence. To his surprise he saw the same BLACK MAMBA down in the shrubs other side of the fencing, only raising its strong head and smiling at the boy. The little boy’s heart was racing now with a hundred miles per hour. And the next scene was more unbelievable for himself….
    HI, I AM BLACK MAMBA. NICE MEETING YOU LITTLE BOY,
    Said the big snake and the little boy listened it say. All the atoms in his body were twisting and twirling. ‘What the—” he pinched himself to ensure it wasn’t a dream.
    NOW GO AHEAD AND BEND YOUR HEAD INTO THE TANK. BUT PLEASE DON’T JUMP IN SIR, SOME EGGS WERE LAID INSIDE.
    The little boy before digesting the first statement, he listened it’s next communiqué. He opened the cap of the water tank fully showing it sarcastically to the three monster boys and drooped his little head into the tank. He could see now seven beautiful giant-sized eggs laying on the floor of the tank. And he saw one of the eggs moving zigzag. Now it’s going to crack, he said aloud and grinned. When he stooped himself back he saw the big Black Mamba amid a five or six of its children around, still waiting there to waive off the little boy. The smaller child Black Mambas were whispering:
    “It’s the little boy…”
    “It’s the little boy…”
    For the little boy, this was the most exciting moment. Though all the people around him used to call him so special but he never felt it for himself any day. But today… He had to. He’s one among a billion. He’s special.
    The Black Mamba waived off, “Ta-Ta,” along with her children some chuckling and others giggling in excitement for meeting the little boy. But beforehand she said, “My dear, please close the cap properly and don’t…” Before she completed, the boy said it, “I will never say it.”
    “Did you see anything?…. little boy…”
    “Did you?”
    “Did you?… little boy…” voices coming all around the wall.
    “Of course, nothing,” said he unperturbedly, and smiling broadly, staring at the long went fantastic BLACK MAMBA and Co..
    Precisely, at that moment, from top view down to the earth, under a long tree and beside a small shrub, the little boy saw a small young pigeon lying down. It’s neither trying to fly nor moved. But shivering critically and concealing itself from an unknown peril.
    Now it fell upside down, all of a sudden. The little boy fixed his eyes on it curiously and sympathetically. He sensed it must be in a serious danger. But he didn’t want to fall under the eyes of any student down there. Especially under the infuriated eyes of the monster boys . So he pretended to be normal and jumped down and detoured silently through the toilet gate and hidden in an unused toilet room until everyone had left. Once he thought he’s alone, he came out. It’s empty, except himself. He climbed the wall again, even in less than four seconds this time and jumped outside of the fencing. He found the eyes of the pigeon shut. It looked dead. No movement in feathers. It’s bleeding slightly in abdomen part. The little boy removed a slice from his shirt and corkscrewed slickly around the pigeon to stop the bleeding. Then took it into his palm and stroked smoothly with fingers on its back with sheer adoration. Now it fluttered the feathers slowly and slightly opened its eyes.
    “Little boy!” it exclaimed adoring back. The boy jumped in surprise. Even this pigeon knows me, he puzzled. The bird almost slipped by his hop. He clutched carefully and asked it to sit on his head firmly. He mounted back gently upwards to the school fencing and once reached on top of it, jumped down.
    Then hided the severely wounded pigeon in the unused toilet room. Ran for a first aid kit. Returned in a minute or two. And dressed the bird’s wound and applied some paste and cotton on the injury that clogged the bleed completely. The pigeon was out of danger now.
    The little boy went to home carrying in head full of surprises and curious to share them with his parents. And also he wanted to introduce them his new pal, Mr. Passenger Pigeon.
    Hardly a single person can say whether a pigeon was a male or female without seeing it laying eggs itself, unless one was a veterinarian or a frequent bird-watcher or a fowler like the little boy’s father. But he introduced it to his parents quiet easily, Mr. Pigeon. One would’ve guessed how. Of course, the little boy talked to the young pigeon also.
    “Dad,” he said. “You know, this so said extinct variety of pigeon was hunted by bad fowlers sons today who were called as monster boys in our school.
    “But I saved him, Mr. Passenger Pigeon. I am very happy that I wasn’t a son like them who haven’t have a father like you.”
    The mother and father went pale by now.
    “How did you know that it’s a Mr.?” asked the father.
    “Ah… I’m coming there now,” the little boy said. “He told it to me.”
    “What?” both the father and mother said simultaneously and loudly, surprised.
    “How on earth it’s possible?” again both of the parents said at a time and stood unmoved as if a current shock applied.
    A prolonged lull until the little boy had broken the silence.
    “He said a lot about their type,” the boy said excitedly. “Males woo females by pursuing them and strutting to impress them. They may turn in circles or from side to side while cooling loudly and bobbing their heads up and down. Mature female passenger pigeons, with their typically more slender bodies and narrower heads than males, tend to carry their tails level with their bodies or higher. Males keep watch out their mates to ensure that no other males woo them. Male passenger pigeons may drive females to a nest or away from other passenger pigeons by pursuing and pecking. When frightened while in the company of their mates, female passenger pigeons may attempt to hide beneath their mates. But if a male pigeon died in front of the female pigeon, she won’t fly away with fear, rather grunts and growls and slaps her two feathers furiously and moves her fan-shaped tails assertively.
    “Passenger Pigeons mate for life; and also most curious thing, they share the care of their eggs and young. A female passenger pigeon usually sits on her eggs from late afternoon until mid-morning. When the male returns to the nest, he’ll meet the coos and struts. He sits on the nest from mid-morning until late afternoon. How beautiful it’s, isn’t it?
    “And you know dad–” he went on and unstoppable. “His father belongs to Indomalaya ecozone and mother belongs to Australasia ecozone. They were only mates among the passenger pigeons ever mated in history from different eco zones.”
    The father and mother of the little boy flabbergasted.
    “W-h-a-t on earth–” the mother mumbled and almost fainted. She drank some water from a jug and later given it to his mouth-opened hubby.
    “Mom,” the little boy said, “Mr. Passenger Pigeon is also thirsty.”
    Without batting her eyelids, the mother poured some water in a bowl , with her hands quivered and placed it in front of the small and beautiful pigeon. The Mr. Passenger Pigeon, so called the little boy, drank it sucking happily.
    “Mom,” the little boy said briskly. “He saluted you ‘Thank You.'” The mother’s face turned whiter and whiter and she didn’t speak a word, rather nodded her current-passed head unconsciously.
    “Mom,” he said again. “He also complemented,” he paused and continued, “that you are beautiful.” Anew he paused and continued, “‘and your daddy is,’ he added” paused and went on, “‘appearing a bit violent by nature.'”
    The mother and father were dumb-stuck. They thought of sharing the happiest moment about the fortune the father got this morning. But now, they knew it was nothing in front of what their little boy brought for them. A surprise to a surprise.
    Few weeks had left behind. Now Mr. Passenger Pigeon was absolutely healthy as it was before the attempt on it near the school. He didn’t know how to give back the adoration the little boy’s family given to him. “The best family I have ever seen,” he thought.
    The fowler stopped going for hunting birds. But he not yet revealed about his old profession and the day of fortune, to the son. He terrified himself how his son would react if he know about his bird-hunting business.
    Before the old wound hadn’t healed up completely, a new gash in heart arrived to the father and mother. As they thought it was time to send the Mr. Passenger Pigeon to his parents, they asked the little boy to ask the bird where his parents would live.
    “We live on a big oak tree beyond the Godavari lake, over the hill and down the other side, lay the area full of trees. Just opposite to that oak tree, one big banyan tree is there. And most importantly and uniquely, my mom and dad are the most beautiful birds in the world,” Mr. Passenger pigeon said to the little boy who in turn repeated to his father and mother.
    All of a sudden, the father jumped in horror. Over his shoulders, had a horror-stuck glance at his wife. “It’s them,” whispered the mother. Their hearts were racing. The fowler didn’t understand what to do.
    “Come on Mr. Passenger Pigeon,” the little boy said promisingly. “My father will find it soon and you can go to your father.”
    The father and mother couldn’t sleep well with utter remorse in head, as they know it’s unregretful. They thought a volcano would burst in their head.
    For a week the father pretended that he was searching for the address given by Mr. Passenger Pigeon.
    One day, the father got a doubt. “It’s a bird. And now it can fly. Birds won’t forget their nests. Then why–” he thought and stopped thinking on seeing the little boy entering into the living room
    “Dad,” he said smiling broadly. “Did you find the address?” The father’s face turned absolute white as if all the blood had been sucked by a beast.
    “I-I’m,” he mumbled, “searching, son. Soon I’ll find.”
    “No dad,” the little boy said and slowly the expression changed. “You cannot.” The father’s heartbeat accelerated more and more. He wanted to die now. He couldn’t bare a fraction of second.
    “Because–” the little boy went on and his face turning red now. “They’re dead. Indeed murdered. Murdered brutally by a fowler, who’s my father. Mr. Passenger Pigeon said me.” Indeed the little boy had listened the passenger pigeon’s say just a while back and ran immediately in middle of their conversation, though the bird didn’t complete what he intended to say.
    The father had fallen down and resting on his knees. The long waited volcano had burst. It turned as tears and poured like a waterfall.
    “I–” the father spoke through his tears. “I’m sorry son. I shouldn’t have done it. But I was a fowler then–” he paused turning towards the fuming face of his little son. He escaped the looks and continued. “I am no more a fowler, son. And now–I’m ready to take any curse.”
    Now Mr. Passenger Pigeon enter through the front door. It spoke to the little boy:
    MY DEAR LITTLE BOY, YOUR FATHER HAD ALREADY BEEN CURSED WITH THE PROFESSION HE HAS DONE WHICH HE DIDN’T LIKE. NOW HE’S FREE. AS I’M. I’M A CURSED LITTLE PASSENGER PIGEON FOR EATING A FLESH OF A SAINT. AND THE CURSE CAME FROM SPACE SAYING, ‘YOU’LL LOSE SOMETHING ENORMOUS TO YOU.’ BUT ON MY APOLOGIES, AS COULDN’T HE TAKEN BACK THE CURSE, HE SAID, ‘THE CURSE CAN’T TAKEN BACK, BUT LET ME SAY THIS- YOU WILL MEET A SPECIAL BOY CALLED LITTLE BOY AND HIS FAMILY WILL BE YOUR’S. AND THE ADORATION WILL BE NO LESS THAN YOUR PARENTS.”
    Days were left behind. Now it’s a family of four. The father, the mother, the little boy and the Mr. Passenger Pigeon. The little boy was taking his brother Mr. Passenger Pigeon to school along with him. The Monster Boys now fear for the little boy as every time they did a harm to him they had got an answer from mother BLACK MAMABA. No… No. Those are from the junior BLACK MAMBAS.
    The father was again after birds. But not to slay them, indeed to find a perfect mate for his new son– Mr. Passenger Pigeon.

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