Summer holidays, growing up were always spent in Wayanad, where both sets of grandparents lived.
Every summer, all my cousins and uncles and aunts would descend to Wayanad, and it was a lot of fun. We used to stay at my maternal grandparents place, and would go over every evening with my uncles to my paternal grandparents’ place. I used to be one of the younger lot those days. My cousins were older and I was a pesky brat, they just had to tolerate. So it was quite annoying for them and me:) Those younger than me hadn’t been born yet or were just not around.
So as I was saying, every day, my uncles and I would go over to my Achchan’s place. My uncles and my cousins would all play badminton, and then a few games of cards, in which my Achchan would join as well. I don’t quite remember what I would do, apart from being a pest, but I do remember hating having to go back to my mum’s place. I just wanted to stay here with all my cooler cousins. I was the oldest on my mother’s side, and it was quite boring. Although, my Ammachan and mamas would play a mean game of scrabble with me, but that was forgotten in those moments of being utterly unreasonable.
Now, there was another reason I hated going back. Both the houses weren’t very far but it was a dark and lonely walk through the coffee plantation. For a town bred kid, who is used to flats and houses, right next to each other, it could be downright spooky. We would have torches, but it still was scary. The coffee plants lending a very shadowy and eerie feeling. It would be dusk and sometimes well past dusk when we returned and you could hear crickets and foxes as you walked back. Those days the sound of foxes scared me. I used to have this mental image of a large dog who could come and get little girls. I also suspect that my uncles might have made them seem a little bit too scary. So I would hear them howl in the darkness and be scared stiff.
Somewhere down the line, foxes cease to be scary. And I completely forgot about them. The only time I remembered those foxes of my childhood was when I came across this news a few years ago about how foxes had mauled two babies. That was such a shocking read.
The subject of foxes would come up every once in a while, once we watched a BBC documentary about them. They are considered rather common urban animals. But of course, I had never had a chance to see them. Just the other week, daughter’s class was discussing nocturnal animals, and foxes came up in thw discussion. She told me that I had to go out at night to find foxes. Well, I didn’t think I was that desperate.
I’m sure you are wondering what is the link to blogging in all this? I am getting to that in a minute. You see, these days I end up watching birds quite a lot. Completely inspired by Shail’s pictures. I never see any exotic birds fromy windows, though. All I get to see are pigeons and magpies. This morning, I saw an interesting fight between one pigeon and two magpies. They all wanted the same twig from my garden. Of course, by the time, I got hold of my camera, they had settled their dispute and moved on!
So, as I was saying, I keep an eye out, even if I don’t get any pictures. They do such interesting things, like pecking at my solar lights as if they were food, and teasing the neighbors cat. Last night I was in daughter’s room, tucking her in bed, and drawing the blinds, when I just stood there, looking out. Daughter’s room overlooks some school grounds. Initially, I had thought that the entire area was part of the school grounds. Later, I realized that about half of those grounds were maintained, and mowed. The well maintained parts were the school grounds. The other part was just full of over grown grass. As I gazed out, I could see some pigeons pecking away at something near some overgrown grass, and then suddenly two dogs appeared. That was funny, dogs without leashes, and no people accompanying them? They did look rather rough as well. They weren’t dogs, of course! They were foxes! What excitement! We even called Husband to tell him. I worry now, that I’m raising daughter to be just as mad as me. Anyway. We watched them until they disappeared into the grass again.
Finally. I got to see foxes! I know, I know, I lead a sad life if I get excited by this, but I am! And I am quite sure I wouldn’t have spotted them, had I not been looking out for birds:). May be one day, I would even get a chance to take a picture of them.