A squirrel and a drumstick tree

The squirrel and the drumstick tree


You'll miss a lot if you skip the above link. I'll not even give a clue as to what the article is about.
While in college, I was staying in my ancestral house. One Sunday morning, a badminton-ball-size bundle of reddish hairy thing fell on the verandah from the corner tiles. I was curious. Mother came, inspected and told me, it was a new-born baby squirrel and assigned me the task of throwing it far away in the compound and asked my sister to clean the floor. Though she had not attended any management programme, she used to lead by example, get work done by appropriate sharing and delegation and had a special talent to appreciate other people's work. In her time she had passed Class V, which was the qualification needed then for admission to a teacher's training. I have seen her uncle who became a primary school teacher with such a training and later in life owned and managed some primary schools in Malabar.
I didn't throw the baby squirrel. Instead, took it to a pond in the compound, gave it a bath and when it started showing signs of life, took it back home and started feeding milk with a clean ink-filler. Saved it from other animals and birds and started feeding Rama's friend regularly. It grew up into a normal squirrel within weeks, started going out to the compound and returning regularly by sunset. One evening it didn't return. Our search didn't give any positive results. Believe, he found his mate and started staying separately. If you are my enemy, you're free to tell me some carnivorous animal would have made a meal out of him.
We have a big drumstick tree just in front of our house in Thiruvananthapuram. I had brought some drumstick seeds and three four trees had come up. Now, after 15 years, only one tree is there, which gives a good crop of drumsticks every season, despite our cropping its branches every year. When the tree starts flowering, a variety of small birds come and start a good orchestra every evening. Our tenant who stays upstairs must be watching through the window and enjoying the fun. Who knew that one seed of drumstick will take the story this far! I'm writing this sitting in Mumbai.
As local trains are not running, we are able to listen to the sounds of birds, animals and watch the movement of leaves in breeze.

M G Warrier
April 11, 2020


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