Thursday, 25 July 2013

Perspective #1: Baby Things

The baby things.
They were lying in the grass under the coconut tree in the garden, in  feotal positions, pretty much the eptiome of cuteness for anyone. Their heads were covered with a dusting of hair, and the tail was curved around them. They were basically what people define as cute, especially on the internet. My mother took one look at them and said dismis
sively, "Rats."
"No!" squealed Person A. "They're squirrels! Just look at them..."
"They are quite cute," I admitted grudgingly. I'm not so much of a 'aawww so cute' person. It's quite easy to tell from some of my earlier posts, like the rather controversial one condemning pandas, or the other about cute animals though even I'm not sure whether that one's for cute or against it.
"So adorable!" cried Person B.
"Let's call pest control," my mother said.
Cute or not? Either way, they're definitely small...
Immediately a cry of "NO!!!!!!" rose up from the ranks. My mother took one look at us, her lips curling up on the edges, and stalked inside to her phone. I stalked inside to the computer. Maybe Google could answer some identity questions. I still don't know what they are- I'm thinking mouse. Or rat, though rats are grey.
When pest control came, they unceromoniously dumped them in a bag (at least one out of three were dead), probably destined for the nearest rubbish dump, paying no heed to Person A's calls of "No!" followed by some what I think was Kannada gibberish that seemed to be a desperate plea to their base instincts, why did they want to kill babies, they're squirrels I tell you, etc. etc. And I started thinking. These were probably rats, or mice. If we had found a fully grown one, no one would have hesitated to call the appropriate authorities with their spraying guns and repellents of doom. A certain half-eaten mango we had found in our kitchen springs to mind... Our neighbours had regaled us with how, confronted with a rat, they had all huddled together in fear as it ran across the hall. When they first got married, a ratty visitor to their apartment had caused my dad to leap with amazing skill onto the bed and remain there, hopping up and down, while my mother showed the guest out with appropriate courtesy i.e. a broom whacking the floor. For mice the reaction would have been a little more subdued but no less brutal. But us, confronted with a baby version of one of those things? We immediately started fawning over it, with no thought to what it may become. The plastic bag containing the babies on the rubbish dump would probably grow into a home for ruthless scavenging rats or mice. It only goes to show that you can't judge by looks alone when it comes to baby things.

The Glasswing Butterfly

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