“How did it come here?” I heard my cousin’s voice from the kitchen. I was in my room, trying to concentrate on a story I was typing out. How did what come where? I thought, sharpening my ears to hear more.
“What do we do now?” she asked.
“Open the balcony doors,” replied my mother.
At this point I had to stop typing. Why would they talk like a pair of convicts? What had they done?
I shot outside my room, and walked into the kitchen to see both my cousin and mom staring hypnotised at the most beautiful thing I had seen for a while.
Here is what I saw.
I nudged them aside and walked towards the wonder. I wanted to own it, but I knew I couldn’t. This one would remain one of my thousand unfulfilled dreams.
I asked my mom how long had the bird been there for. But she had already left the kitchen by then. How could she go? Doesn’t she want to keep looking at it for the little time it was here? I thought this aloud, and my cousin gave me a blank look.
I knew I was over reacting, but life doesn’t always make a kingfisher visit your house, does it?
By then, it had hopped on to a higher platform, on top of the shelf. Sitting like that with all the poise and grace, I named it ‘The queen’. She deserved the name.
The queen sat in the same position for several minutes. She was probably decoding my painting on the wall. What did she think it was? A school of fish dancing in a dusty pond?
I kept looking at her, and she kept looking at the painting. I wanted to bring all my paintings from the hall just to let her watch it and probably stay for a while longer.
By then, my mother was back with a long rod.
“No!” I screamed.
“What no?” my mom questioned, clearly annoyed at the melodramatic upsurge in my voice.
“Are you going to throw her out?” I asked. A highly redundant question, but I had to buy time. I wanted The queen to stay.
At this point, she flapped her wings and perched herself on the tube light. Probably she had caught sight of the long deathly looking rod.
I shrieked, and hid besides the fridge. I was scared that The queen might turn violent. What if she thought my nose was a little fish?
I looked at her sitting on the tube light, her turquoise blue glowing like the disco light. I was scared, though I was tempted to touch her. I wanted to feed her something. Only if I had a tiny aquarium.
The queen had finally sensed that she was out-of-place. She no longer was interested in my painting, but kept moving restlessly on the tube light, trying to find her escape.
I wanted to tell The queen to calm down. ‘You could be my exotic pet!’ I wanted her to understand.
But of course, The queen couldn’t understand my love. She flapped, hopped, and clicked her neck. And then she hopped onto something steely right beneath the tube light.
My mom had ascended the rod to where she was. The queen had jumped right onto it without any coaxing.
Slowly she was led to the balcony, outside the grills, where she clicked her neck for one last time before launching herself into the night.