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A Journey Backwards : Thieves welcome

【明報專訊】"I found these adorable beauties on our balcony today, feasting on our juicy plant. Nature creates such wonders!" read mom's jolly email. I did not have to scroll further to know that my basil plant has become history.

Mom has a high tolerance for anything with innocent complexity. Rather than dutifully expelling thieves of any kind, she would occasionally allow deceitful, cute-looking creatures to share our hard-earned harvest. Once, a snail performed a little dance to gain permit to our tomato plant. This time, two Red-whiskered Bulbuls have scammed their way through any security defences mom might have.

Red-whiskered Bulbuls are in fact common city birds in South East Asia. However, they are more often identified by their call (kink-a-joo) than being physically seen. Feeding on fruits and insects mainly, it takes some particularly succulent plants to lure the birds into the light.

The Red-whiskered Bulbul was a popular Indian cage-bird in the past and stays so in many South East Asia countries. Although it is frustrating to see my tiny urban farm constantly jeopardised by an excess of kindness to theft, it will be equally sad to have these adorable creatures caged away. Currently in the place of the old basils, a new plant has briskly sprung to life. Secretly, I am hoping it will bring the birds back.

I guess mom and I do share similar aesthetic conclusions after all.

■Writer's Profile

Mona C. has a strong appetite

for stories. Feed her enough.

Email: monafpchu@gmail.com

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