The animal series part 3


About the chicks

The summer I turned 16, I wanted to see how chicks hatch. So my mother let me buy two hens. Every morning they would lay a few eggs. Unfortunately we ended up eating most of them. My brother devised a plan of heating the uneaten eggs with some artificial light to make them hatch faster, but it didn’t work.

In the end I got tired of watching eggs not hatch. I am hazy about what happened to the hens but they too disappeared somewhere. Please understand the haziness is due to the fact that in addition to chicks, I also had a lot of boys on my 16 year old mind.

I concluded that I might as well just buy some chicks instead. To accomplish this, I went to Chinese Bhai* who was my neighbor. He was kind enough to sell me 4 at 40 Rs a piece and asked me to take good care of them. I promised yes*. ( Correction: it was my brother who got the chicks from his girlfriend apparently. My brother at least insists that is how we got them. I don’t quite recall what I bought from Chinese, but it was something! I was far more hazy in the head than I remember!)

Three of the chicks were yellow and one was black. I named them Huey, Duey, Luey and the Black one. Our cat would sit peacefully on my lap and watch the little chicks playing inside their coop. I thought it was all lovely..but I was stupid.

The chicks were not playing, they were running around scared out of their wit. They were acutely aware of the cat sitting on my lap staring at them. The cat was not sitting on lap for comfort. It was keenly observing the wire mesh and devising a plan of attack.

A week or 2 later, the cat had tunneled its way in to the coop. A massacre must have followed. By the time I got home, the only thing left were many yellow feathers, some black ones and a satisfied cat. I was very angry with the cat, but can I really blame her?

Lesson: Do not mix chicks and cats.
Lesson: Don’t be stupid.
Lesson: Don’t be so oblivious.

*Note 1 on Chinese Bhai:
Chinese Bhai was not Chinese, but had almond shaped eyes. He was called Bhai because boys my age went to him to gain his support to beat up other boys. There was much respect for all that he could do in addition to raising chickens. The stories I could tell you!

*Note 2 On making promises:
Please read post titled ‘Tagore versus Gandhi’. What side are you on?’ and let me know what you think:)

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2 thoughts on “The animal series part 3

  1. Thanks Marianne!.. It’s really nice to hear you say that:)
    Yes, I am back to the cold north soonish… Mid August ( unfortunately, not in time for book-club but definitely in time to see you sing at the Opera house:)

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