It is so much fun to watch swifts wheeling and zigzagging in the sky covering the distance of a 100 yards in about three seconds. Mosquitoes, beware! It’s nice to know that this feathered bunch will destroy about 10 kilograms of insects a day. And on top of that they exude an air of sheer delight – they seem to be happy to be birds. Their jolly tweets are sweet music to the ear, their wheeling up and down is a dance of joy, their zigzagging is playfulness itself.
However, most of modern-day documentaries on animal life (National Geographic, for instance) often leave us with an impression that their life is all about survival. To us, humans, the life of animals and birds seems harmonious and peaceful but in reality those dumb creatures have to fight for survival every waking moment. Nature is cruel. The lion has to get an antelope every day or it will get weak and won’t be able to outrun the slowest antelope tomorrow. The migrating birds have to eat so much food every day to get enough fat and be able to make it to the South when the time comes. Sparrows have to fight over a crumb to prevent their species from going extinct. Continue reading The sweet tweet
Two days ago my wife shared with me what happened at the store after she and our son Yan had got the groceries. “The moment we got out of the store Yan ran up to me and grabbed all the heavy bags I was carrying insisting that he should carry them. I was pleased to see him so enthusiastic but I was also flabbergasted: how did it happen? I don’t recall ever making him help us with the bags. He just wanted to do it!”
“Well, I answered, maybe he was watching us carry the bags all the time, and we never demanded that he should help us. So after a while he just wanted to do it. It’s only natural… or supernatural?”
In his “Comme un roman” Daniel Pennac tells a story of an amazing literature teacher who was able to bring his apathetic high school students to fall in love with reading. When he first came to that school he found his students bored to death and hating the very concept of reading. So he just began reading to them – “Perfume” by Patrick Susskind. Weeks passed. And he just read. Nobody was interested. Or it seemed so. Continue reading Ishmael and Isaac