I wanted a baby elephant for a pet. That was a highly unrealistic expectation. In the days of the Mughal Rulers if one wanted to punish a subject, he would be given an elephant, and that would be the downfall of him.

When my mother was alive, she kept a parrot. He would greet guests in Pushto. After her death an uncle took it home. After the initial days following her death, I tried to have it back, but his children wouldn’t let me. That was another heartbreak for me as a child.

My father bought me two pairs of pigeons. He built them pigeon homes on a side wall of our garage. The pigeons grew in population, and father tacked new homes for them to the garage wall. Each of the bird house was different in design, and father kept making them for my pigeons.

A neighboring cat who was very aggressive tried his best at getting them for a treat, but he never succeeded. But our cook did, and he would make roasted pigeons for himself to eat, and I never knew that. Years later on it slipped from my elder brother’s mouth. He was the cook’s accomplice.

My (late) husband convinced me that keeping birds in captivity wasn’t humane, so I never got a bird to keep again.


Do you have animals in your life? If yes, what do they mean to you? If no, why have you opted not to?

One thought on “Menagerie”

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