Posted in Love, Nature

My Neighbours: The Avenger

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’.

Author:

I am an Instructional Designer, avid reader, small-town woman and working mother with a fish-eye perspective. I have just published my first book, The Forest Bed and other short stories. If you like my stories on this blog, feel free to Like, Comment, Reblog and Share. You can reach me at shailygrwl@gmail.com or through my Facebook page facebook.com/shailyagrawalwrites/

8 thoughts on “My Neighbours: The Avenger

    1. It was. I have seen birds try and save their eggs and babies while they are alive. But lamenting for the dead and avenging them, and holding a grudge until death? I tried searching online to see if it is something unique about lapwings, but there was no mention of any such thing anywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Harsh! I have seen my german shepherd play the mother of a chick and protect her. I’ve seen a bulbul attack my 6 feet brother when tried to take pics if her eggs. But avenging a mate? I never thought them capable of such strong emotions.

      Liked by 1 person

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