A Tale of Love and Compassion
Last month, it was very windy in Bangalore, right? If you live in Bangalore, you must have seen the trees swaying this way and that and heard their branches making lovely creaking sounds!
It was one of those very windy days that I set off from home to my office. Often, when I’m travelling in an auto-rickshaw I look out for birds, cats or little puppies because I can say “Helllllo! How are you?” to them. It’s such fun!
Some of you might think I’m quite silly calling out to animals on the street like that, no? But I think it’s just wonderful! Yes, I love talking to the animals and birds, trees and flowers that I see on the street. They are natural and so beautiful!
That morning, as I hopped out of the auto-rickshaw and stepped inside the pathway leading to the office, I heard a “squeak-squeak” sound coming from below. I turned down and, lo and behold! what did I see?: a very small baby squirrel trying with great difficulty to crawl on the ground. The little child had curled up its tail around itself tightly, probably to protect itself from the cold.
As I looked at it in shock, it struck me that normally, baby squirrels do not leave their mumma’s home up in the trees. My first reaction was to see if its mumma was around, knowing well that if the baby was left on the ground, someone might step on it by mistake. With the help of an office colleague, I put the baby in a bag and brought it to the office.
Kids, remember one very important thing: if you find a kitten or a bird or a baby squirrel abandoned on the road, in the backyard of your home or anywhere else, please do not pick it up with bare hands. If you have a kerchief or any other cloth with you or a bag, please use it. It is said that in the case of birds, if a baby is lifted by bare human hands, it may not be accepted if it tries to go back to its family. Maybe bird families, too, have their own social rules, like human families!
My worry was how to now handle the baby squirrel. I waited for hours, searching the whole compound to see if its mumma would come in search of it. Baby must have been so hungry. The poor little thing must have fallen off from its nest when the wind blew so furiously and the branches swayed vigorously.
Suddenly, I thought of Sarah, the girl who lives in the apartment above the office. She has two cats and is a very caring, soft-spoken girl. I hoped she would adopt the squirrel also. So, dashing upstairs with the baby squirrel in a bag, I knocked at her door. I was greeted by her nephew Abdul Ahad, a ninth-standard student, who was most delighted to hear the baby squirrel squeak.
I narrated the story of how I had found the baby squirrel. After a few minutes, Abdul Ahad, came down with a box and a cup of cut fruit for the baby squirrel. He told me that he wanted to take care of the squirrel and that he had spotted another baby squirrel (perhaps a sibling of this one), which had stuck itself to a wall out of fright after having fallen from the tree on that windy day. Abdul had picked it up and taken it home.
The two baby squirrels got a very lovely, kind family and were showered with a lot of affection from Abdul, his parents Sarfaraz and Sabina, and Sarah and Bushra. Even Ahad’s little cousin Dania was very keen to know about the squirrels’ welfare each day. The squirrels had a large room to run around in. They ate well and would climb on to Ahad’s shoulder after he had fed them. They had a heater in their room so that they would not feel cold!
Patiently feeding them everyday just before going to school and leaving fruits, milk and crushed peanuts for them to munch on, Abdul was so happy with his new friends! For him, taking care of the baby squirrels came from his love, compassion, dedication, commitment to care for living beings.
We do our best and leave the rest to God.
From God We Come and to God We return.
The baby squirrels lived very happily in Ahad’s arms and care for a week, and now are in the arms and care of God.
Kids, it does not matter how many days or years a pet stays with you. What really matters is how much of yourself you give to your pet as long as it lives.
Ahad gave his whole self, his love, his time, his energy to see that the baby squirrels got the best care and comfort in the week that they were with him!
God bless him for his love and kindness!
So, kids, the next time you spot any bird or animal in distress, think of what you can do for it to relieve its pain and discomfort.
Do write to [email protected] voice.com if you have any real life stories about your experiences with animals. We could publish it in the Kids page.
(Kids, a request please: no scary ghost stories please, as other kids can get be frightened after reading them)