I have been seeing too many crazy neighbours during lockdown and I am dedicating them a series.
Athena, the eagle, is the queen of my area. Most birds give her a wide berth in the sky and if she swoops lower, they rush to hide and avoid her wrath. I’m a fan of her grace. In theory, I knew she preys upon birds too. But I never saw it before that fateful day.
I was up early that morning and the world was full of twittering and tweeting. I could see a couple of lapwings (small water birds the size of a pigeon) flying towards my home, playing and teasing each other with the did-you-do-it call. Suddenly, Athena descended from the sky, grabbed one of them, and flew away.
White feathers fell from the sky as the victim struggled and surviving mate called out in a heartbreaking voice. My heroine had just separated lovers. Forever.
I knew this is what eagles do, but that couldn’t take away the resentment. I hoped the survivor will get over it soon, since he’s “just a bird”…
In the afternoon, I went to the rooftop for some chore and again heard the same heartbreaking cries, this time filled with anger. I looked up at the sky and saw what I had never thought possible.
A lone lapwing, the pigeon-sized thing that did not stand a chance against an eagle, was attacking Athena, over and over, as if he was avenging his love or, may be, he had a death wish.
Athena did not strike back. She just tried to save itself by hiding in a tree. The lapwing kept up the attacks until he was too tired to fly.
I saw the same thing after four days. Not sure, if he ever let her rest. I didn’t see a lapwing again in the area, so I hope Athena wasn’t too fed up or hungry that day or whenever he last struck.
And here I had thought that birds were devoid of ‘human emotions’; that they were…just ‘birds’.