THE LAST (LOST) SONG
“ Hey! Jack! It’s Chill and no sight of Sun” Samson put his arms around the shoulders of Samson.
“ Yes! For the past three days the same weather haunts this village. I believe that New south wales is
“ Exactly! We are just fifteen kilometres away from New South Wales. How can you expect a different weather there? The weatherman reports that a cold wave runs through southern Australia. Most probably this winter is going to be tough”
Jack smiled. “ Sams! You talk like a grandpa with shaking body! You know we have hot blood flushing through our veins! Well! Tell me about what to do today?”
“ No Jack! It is not about today or this winter! We are birdies! We love watching and feeding migratory birds! The big lake behind your house and the woods around attract many birds migrating from North Australia. Do you see any signs of migration?”
“ seems you have forgotten that the winter is not yet over. Today is 20th August and we have to wait for another one and half months for the onset of Spring. The migrating birds start arriving only during Spring. Meanwhile have you kept ready all the food stuff to welcome our feather friends?”
“ Yes! The stocks I have I hope will be sufficient to feed them for one month. What about you?”
“ Me? You know my grandpa, grandma, my mum and sister form a team to welcome our friends and they have collected stocks more than sufficient for this season.”
Samson and jack are not professional ornithologists. They do not exactly remember from which age they started watching of migratory birds and feeding them. When they were studying in primary class they used to go to the banks of the big lake and watch the swimming and flying birds. The behaviour of native birds never encourages human beings to come close to them. Similarly, their flying patterns also cannot be studied except by a few professionals.
But the case of migrating birds is different. They travel in flocks for feeding, breeding and raising the young. Hence befriending them by offering feed is easy. Similarly, as their movement is restricted to a specified area for a considerable period of time, their patterns of behaviour, nuances of their preferences and rejections can be studied even by local villagers.
Jack and samson work as teachers in a school in New South Wales and they normally avail Leave from duty during the Spring Season.
“ Did you have your breakfast this morning?” asked Jack.
“ No buddy! What about you?”
“Me? No. Okay! Come in. Let us both have brunch!”
Jack took Samson into his home.
The severe winter left Australia in a phased manner and the Spring sprang suddenly.
The nature, the big lake and the woods looked bright and beautiful. The flowers! Budding flowers! blooming flowers! Smiling flowers!
Yes! Nature blesses the human race with the presence of beautiful flowers on trees during Spring.
Jack and Samson every day started roaming on the banks of the big lake gazing at the blue skies awaiting the happy arrival of migratory birds from the north.
Suddenly they saw a big flock of bi-coloured beautiful song birds with sharp beaks and shining eyes in the sky. Within a short time, they landed on the banks of the river. They started eating the worms and the ants on the barks of big trees.
“ What is this?” asked Samson.
“ don’t you know? These birds are song birds. They sing like Nightingale or even more musically. Unlike the cuckoos whose cooing is short , these birds sing lengthy notes with musical precision and variations. These birds normally do not come to our area. Come on! We’ll go and prepare feed for them and come soon.” Jack was hurrying to his home.
The songbirds eat worms, nuts, fish, grains, seeds, berries, fruits, and flower buds.
Both Jack and Samson brought two baskets of grain and berries which they kept ready for welcoming the friends from the blue sky.
It was great joy! The song birds occasionally sang beautiful songs. It normally occurs to inform the other bird to indicate its location.
It is also an invitation for its mate for performing the game of Cupid.
Among many song birds, one bird became very friendly to both of them. It was circling them and followed them time and often. Jack and Samson named her as “ Sweety”. To their surprise she responded whenever they called her by that name.
It sang two different types of songs for each of them.
“ Jack!” said Samson “ I am delighted and surprised with the affection of Sweety. It behaves like a baby in our house.”
“Yes! Somehow it has become a special bird and I believe that we will land in a cage of sentiment when it departs after three months”.
The Spring was coming to an end. May be in four or five days all the birds which have brought mirth and fun for the villagers will leave the beautiful big lake and surrounding woods and greenery without any idea of the impact they have created among the children, youngsters and even the elders of the village.
But Sweety seemed to be different.
She looked sick and dull.
She stopped singing and she seemed reluctant to take food.
Jack and Samson observed this and they have decided to spend more time with the bird.
Ultimately, all the songbirds, one day morning assembled together and started flying towards the North making two formations in the sky.
Sweety without even looking at both of them joined them and after a few minutes all of them flew far away and were out of sight.
Jack and Samson were sitting on the banks of the big lake. They looked around. They found that
there was shrill silence everywhere. They knew that the Spring is over and they have to return to their normal activities and remember Sweety and other birds by seeing the photographs taken by them. Realities become memories within a short span of time.
Suddenly they heard a sound.
From the blue sky , Sweety descended before them with an astounding speed and landed.
“My god! It is Sweety! She returned!” Samson cried.
Sweety circled them.
It sang a beautiful song. It looked at both of them.
It jumped twice and suddenly fell on the ground with her eyes closed.
Jack and Samson came close to her and touched her.
“ Jesus! She is dead and gone! My God! My God” Jack told with panic,
Samson was dumbfounded.
In the evening they both buried the bird in a pit with the help of some villagers.
“ It is strange Jack! She returned. Nobody has so far seen a migratory bird return after it left for native land. She came straight to us. Maybe she is sick and probably died due to the sickness.” Samson looked straight into the eyes of Jack.
“ No body can say whether she died out of sickness or due to the pain of separation. Yes! I think that she loved us deep and did not like to leave us. But we birdies never imagine that birds have sentiments!”
“ It sounds like a fantasy story! No one will believe if we tell our experience with Sweety to them. But that song she sang before her death! My God!” Jack tried to control his emotions.
Samson patted on his shoulders.
Migration during Spring takes place throughout the world.
Millions of birds migrate and return.
But the last song of the little bird Sweety will remain the lost song on the banks of the big lake and
among the woods for ever and for ever.