Every time a bird flies down from a tree and lands near me, I will think of my dad.
My dad is a very kind person. I think in my 40 years of being, my dad is one of the kindest persons I have seen. While kindness can be ignited in many ways, my dad has his own definitions. And it starts with the birds.
For the past ten years, my dad has been going against the law, feeding the birds in the neighbourhood and one reason why they thrived, is because of my father’s consistent and unreserved care for these little creatures which probably not many would even take notice. For a decade, my father spent his pension on pet kibbles meant for dogs and cats, spent hours crushing them into smaller bits and then, found suitable times where no one sees, then whistled down the wind. It was and still is a spectacle, the birds hiding from the nearby tress will flutter and land near him, each taking turns as he tossed the crushed kibbles to each of his feathered friends. My father even talks to them, knows each and every identical bird well, and had seen generations.
“This is the nestling of this and that bird, and now he has a wife.”
And his feather friends come in a myriad of species. From chirpy sparrows, to silly mynahs, to pigeons, crows and even owls. Sometimes he will bring his injured friends home to nurse, and at sadder times, he will bring the dying ones home, so that they will not depart from the cruel world alone.
Not just the birds, he devotes his retired life to the neighbouring cats and dogs, all needing empathy, care and someone who will remind them that in this society, there is at least one man who will see them as part of our world. And every time a neighbourhood cat or a stray dog passed on, my father will spend a quiet moment to himself, to mourn and to feel the pity that one great part of this world has diminished.
A good father is one who loves his spouse and takes good care his family and kids. But a great father, is one who is willing to love those who are not born of him, and in his eyes are as precious as his own that he is willing to devote part of his life to look after them as well.
And that, I take the greatest pride to say, is my father.