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Their little fingers should be made to preserve

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Little things can make us happy as human beings. Little things like people being kind to us. The good deed could be our own gestures towards another individual. But then, also, it could be said that many of us understand that animals and plants are part of those living things that extend their goodness to human beings in their own ways and should, therefore, be treated with kindness even when some are food to us.

Sometimes, however, one is made to think that there should be a limit or that we need to show more consideration in the way we make use of these things made available to us through the mercy of The Most High.

It is with the same belief that some animals like wild birds, especially those which have chosen to nest in the centre of a city, should be treated in a special way. Call them ornamental birds if you choose, but seeing a rare bird in town is a pleasure, one believes; but they ought to be left alone if they are not disturbing anybody. I think that a nest of birds in your compound should be a joy to your curious and growing children. It is known that children find curious anything that moves and makes sound although they are not in human shape. So these strangers should be a source of education and happiness to young ones.

I really think that parents could help young children to understand and appreciate that other living things do make a contribution to make this world a wonderful place worth living in and that the place of man is not only to take, take and take or eat, eat and eat. That man should take a little care to observe these things so that they give him more in return.

A child who is observant of his environment and all the things therein is the one who enjoys the world he lives in irrespective of his parent’s financial status.

At this compound, the owner, a knowing and loving individual, has decided to maintain a cute garden at the back of her house. A wonderful garden in which there are fruit trees like coconut palms and some decorative ones. Quite pleasing is the grass which is always cut neat; this is a place located in a part of Lagos which can be considered to be central.

So this serene garden has become a haven for many types of bird, both big and small. One thinks that it is surprising and amazing because that garden is close to the house itself, it is amazing that the birds harbour no fear of harm by man-even those ones which are tiny enough to fit into man’s palm, but swift enough to fly away if they are startled. But they would rarely go away, at someone’s approach; they hop out of the way. They were birds of all sizes and colours, all with their pleasing songs.

There are the bigger and predatory ones, too. One day, not quite two years now, I happened to be around here and I turned around to see a bird swooping down directly on me. Alarmed, I raised a hand to shoo it away, but she was not making for my eyes, it swooped down about two paces from where I stood and made away with a lizard held fast in its claws. Poor lizard, I thought, as I regretted that I could not stop the bird from eating his meal and annoyed that the silly animal had the effrontery to attack another animal in my presence. But that was not my first encounter with a hawk around that place.

The big birds visited, like those ones with combs on their heads; I have forgotten the name now. They were all comfortable with the people there, until some boys came to work around that place, that is. The first time I saw them catch a hornbill from the flock that visited on a low lying tree every morning, I thought that they were playing with them. The next time, it dawned that they were eating them. It did not seem right to me because I had thought that they made that environment what nature should be. The hornbills have since stopped to come there. But the crows and others yours truly cannot name continue to visit.

As I write this, a specie of bird I do not know is sitting on the fence and looking around; greyish-green with a long tail, it was there for a long time, just looking around. When the crow, who thought that the place belonged to it tried to intimidate it, it lowered its head as if to look closer at the silly bird. When the crow made so much noise and flew over its head; it turned and took a few curious steps towards the curious blackbird, which had at this time kept quiet and just stared at it. Those boys were not around; there is no doubt that it would not have escaped their pot of soup. It is the same way they take coconut and other fruits prematurely, forcing them to shrivel and die. What they do not know is that when plants are vandalized the trees become barren in no time.

Children like simple pleasures; you see how they want to touch insects and other small crawlies, so start early to teach them about their environment and what nature holds for them-the beauty of flowers and what they do for us. Care for a plant yourself. Teach your teenager that his hands could do much to upgrade the environment. The one who understands what nature gives is the one who eats and remembers that other people will eat.

In the thought for the environment is the enjoyment of good health, the less need to worry about your bank account. In it is creativity-art in any form, beauty and how to manage one’s life. Stress to them that man as the bigger being, is here to make the world better than he met it; he is not here to pillage and lay waste all he encounters on his way. Hammer it into him that if all human beings do that, that the world would not be fit to live in.


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Ozo MordiWild birds

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