Oh, you have come as I asked. I told you this tree would be nice to chat under did I not? Well, we’ll not waste any time. I’ll start telling you my story again. Oh wait, I told you you’d meet Ena right… ok, here she is…!! My friend, Ena the Eagle…!! Oh she’s beautiful isn’t she…? I met her in Kochi actually, and today I’ll tell you how.
Well, as I was saying, the dear old man had fallen down, and his daughter had told him to rest for two weeks. She offered to take me back home to Vamanapuri herself. But I refused. The man had taken care of me, when I was in trouble, so I thought I could at least repay some of his kindness by staying and taking care of him. I used the telephone over there to call the guest house, and told the manager to tell the priest where I was, what I was going to do and when I would come back. I left the house phone number with him, so the priest could call me back if he wanted to.
I went to the old man’s room. It was very big and he was sleeping soundly. The doctor auntie said she had given him ana-anas- well she had given him medicine to sleep soundly without pain. I took a stool and sat by his side. He woke up around 2 hours later, and was very surprised to see me by his side. He had thought I had gone home. I said I called home and I was going to take care of him like he had done for me. I don’t know why but he started crying. It made me sad and I asked him if he was sad because I was going to take care of him. Again I don’t know why, but he laughed at that. Took me to his side and gave me a big hug. Said he was crying because he was happy that somebody cared for him.
I smiled and went out to get his dinner for him. The cook had prepared rice and fish curry. I took his up to his room. He asked me to get mine as well, and have it with him. I was happy and did that. We watched lions chase zebras on Discovery Channel, a ship sinking into the sea in some English movie and some Malayalam serial that he changed five minutes after watching. He told me it became boring to him after the 500th episode. I started laughing. After he finished eating, I took his plate and was about to go down to the kitchen when he asked me if I would sleep in his room, giving him company. I told him yes and went to keep the plates back. I went back later and we talked till late night. I told him about another adventure I had (I’ll tell you that adventure some other time) and he told me about how he won his first award for writing a big novel in Malayalam. He told me that since I liked reading books a lot; he would give me a copy when I eventually returned home. After that he went to sleep. I slept on a sofa near the window, dreaming of my friends here in Vamanapuri.
The next morning, I was helping the cook cut the vegetables for the curry for lunch. I saw some boys around my age walk past the gate. To my shock, I saw that they were carrying an eagle, having tied its feet. I went after them, and asked them why they were hurting the poor thing. They told me, that it had fallen down after someone had hit it with a stone using the sling. They were making sure that the bird was released safely into the wild. I was about to walk back, when I saw the sling in one boy’s pocket. I fought with them, and won. I took the eagle from them and untied it. The slingshot had not hurt it much, and it flew away. I went back to the house, and washed myself. When I went to the old man, he told me he had seen the whole thing from the window and was very proud of me. I was proud of me too. When I later went with the maid, to the terrace, to put the washed clothes for drying, I saw that eagle sitting there on the clothesline. The maid was about to run, when she flew to my arm. She was thanking me for rescuing her I think. She flew away but returned everyday after that, when she saw me on the terrace. She sometimes went to the maid also, but the maid did not let her sit on her arm. I named her Ena, a name from some serial the man used to watch.
On my fifth day with the man, his daughter asked me why I was staying. She told me angrily that I should be going home, and not staying with her father looking to get his money. She was about to hit me, when the cook saw it. She stopped her and told her that she was out of her mind, to tell me such things. The doctor auntie looked at me sternly and went off. The cook told me, that this daughter was very evil, and was looking after the old man only for his money. She never stayed with him though there were four rooms in the house. I thought it was very bad of her to do anything such. The old man told me, when I went up to his room that evening, that he was apologizing for his daughter. I told him, that there was no need, and that I was not going home. I did not want his money one bit, and would take care of him till he was well. He started crying again. I left him alone, and went down again. He told me later that I would like his other daughter, a lot more and that she would be coming in two more days to see him, having heard of his fall. I knew that, because I had heard the cook telephoning her in the morning before that horrible auntie spoke to me like that.
More of the story I will tell you later… After lunch…I’ll show you around the fields as we talk. I need to see how the priest is feeling also. I’ll meet you here itself soon. Sorry I have to keep you waiting. But I am worried about my guardian a lot. He was very ill yesterday night. Maybe I’ll have to take him to Kochi to see the doctor in the big hospital. Not that horrible auntie. Another one of course, Bye!!!