The lockdown threw us off routine in our lives,
making us do things not quite for the archives.
While you may hear stories serious off the graph,
Bet you haven’t read a tale as this worthy a laugh.
With home arrest the outdoor view got restricted,
and so did the species of birds to which addicted.
Left on the list then were those usual suspect few,
and just one window that offered a garden view.
I focused on the sparrows that came to the feed,
here I was the caged one as they were the freed.
Intrigued by their mocking poses I began to click,
it soon became a contest as they were so quick.
Animated exchanges between friends and foes,
and more was captured as also the solo pose.
That was when I noticed one among the young,
who kept tasting grains with a tiny pink tongue.
An obsession was thus born to freeze as a frame,
a petite tongue past the beak now the only aim.
So fleeting though a glimpse was that little pink,
it flitted out and inwards in the matter of a blink.
The camera was lined up for every chance I got,
despite all efforts the tongue was never caught.
Soon I figured how arduous it was to get that shot,
day upon day passed as all efforts came to nought.
Then one fine day the lady turned a tad indiscreet,
it greedily bit the hot chilli meant for the parakeet.
Checking the screen preview I cried out as if stung,
finally I had captured the sparrow’s evasive tongue!
– Narendra Nayak © 2020