THE INNOCENT ACT

I was brought up by a man who really has a great likeness for animals. But the admiration of this man who is my dad was counteracted by my mother who had the opposite feelings for any kind of animals. I came to learn how to like animals from my father. I nursed the hope of having my own pet one day.

One fateful day, I was going to the market and saw a man selling canaries. Canary is a type of bird I cherished most because then, I used to see them in some of the movies I watched. They are colourful in nature and this was what I liked most. I took the last cash in my pocket to buy it. When I came back home, my dad was very happy, but my mother was mad at me. She asked me not keep the bird in any of the rooms. For the love of my bird and for the sake of peace, I decided to put in my father’s room with his permission.

From the very day that bird entered my house, I was a different person. I stopped going out to play with friends, any house chore given to me, in the twinkle of an eye, I was already done with it. I did everything possible to stay close it. I watched how it moved around, how it used to eat, and shook its feathers. I lost myself in taking care of my bird and new friend.

I got to a point that, I would sleep off close to the birds cage while admiring it. Several times, my dad had to wake me up so that I could go to the bedroom to sleep with my siblings. Even while at school, my thoughts were fixed on my bird. After three days, out of joy and admiration, I decided to be feeding it. And it was going well without any stress. I did this for 5 days and since then, it had to wait for me to come to feed it. I really derived joy in doing it because I used to feed it to my satisfaction and not to its satisfaction. Even when it refused eating after being fed well, I used to forced food into its mouth. Its growth was okay and it was getting used to my presence. My dad used to come to see for himself how the bird was fairing. He was also impressed.

One day, I thought of bathing it. For me, it was abnormal because since it came to my house, it had never been bathed. Then, I took water in a cup, removed it from the cage and bathed it. After, I noticed how the bird was shivering. I went out in search of a kerosene lamp, lighted it, and kept it close to the bird. The shivering continued. I saw that the heat produced by the lamp was not okay. I thought of what next to do, and the idea of putting it inside a carton came to my mind. I search for a carton and found a small one that could contain the lamb. I put the lamb together with the bird inside the carton, and dropped the carton inside my dad’s wardrobe.  I was totally restless that evening for the fear of losing it. After an half an hour, I went straight to see how my lovely friend was fairing. When I open the carton, smoke was already coming out slowly, and I saw my poor bird lying on the floor of the carton. I thought it was sleeping; not knowing my lovely canary was already dead. When I discovered that it was dead, I cried. I mourned for it for a week.

Children are innocent indeed!!!!!!!

Published by Chinedu ikechukwu

A writer, a teacher and a comedian.

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