Month: February 2016

The Ubuntu Birds

[Published here] “I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.” – Henry David Thoreau To make up for not giving me siblings, my parents gave me pets. There was the Manx cat that slept in the tumble drier. The ginger tabby that trailed after us on walks around the neighbourhood. The dogs that let me dress them up in sunglasses and ties, that escorted me through the forest or along the beach. And then there were the birds. While my father’s father bred show pigeons, my father bred everything: quails, lovebirds, finches, Cockatiels, budgies and, most recently, an owl mother and her fledgling. On roadtrips, I might not have known the joy of sharing the backseat of the family car with anyone, but I knew my birds. I loved how they all seemed to have a place in the aviary …