I grew up in a small town. And my kids are growing up in a big city. While I am no farmer, I am aware of god’s little creatures and learnt lessons that today are the life skills that the young generation is lacking. It is not totally their fault especially when growing up in a concrete jungle. Being conscious of this, i narrate stories from my childhood with the hope that these anecdotes will equip my kids with a better understanding of nature and how to handle all creatures great and small.
Up until now, life was good. We watched the owl as it made our apartment block its home for a few days, we shoo-ed out the pigeons from our utility, we showed the frightened squirrel the way out of our living room, directed a bat out on the balcony and shut all windows when monkeys were on the prowl. All this was still insufficient to handle what the house threw at them.
When we were going to move to Indiranagar, I told my kids that living in an independent house wasn’t fun. They thought i was being pessimistic and not keen to move because of my love for my flat. I told them we will have to, among other things, deal with rats, both live and dead ones. They didn’t sound very bothered.
And then we heard a very soft ‘mew’ in the utility. On inspection, we discovered three very new kittens and a mom cat. She hissed when she saw my kids and my younger one was so scared that we had to tell him that it was only a cat and not its other bigger cousin the tiger (bah!). The kids started to take turns to see how things progressed and to their horror discovered a (tom?) cat eating one of the kittens or so it seemed.
The next morning the kittens were gone and while we thought they were eaten or taken to a safer haven, we saw the mom cat still hovering around and soon discovered that the kittens (only two) were moved to another nook. I did not see heart beats in either of the kittens and was wondering how to dispose them off. They were gone in a few hours and my ‘brave’ younger child told us that he saw the mom cat take the kittens away.
Just when the excitement was subsiding, my older one calls out from the bathroom, ‘ma there is that thingy in the bathroom that we have seen while we were in our flat too. I think it came in through the crack in the wall. What should I do?’ I rolled my eyes and entered the bathroom only to discover an earthworm.
I gritted my teeth and wondered to myself….how do we make kids learn to deal with these little things in life?