This is the fourth post for the Random Acts of Kindness Blogfest.
Random Acts of Kindness -- Being Kind to Animals
Random acts of kindness do not only apply to humans. I personally believe that kindness is appreciated by any living thing -- human or not. This is why I make sure that I treat animals with respect and kindness. Except that it can be hard to do when I see a cockroach or a mosquito (oh well... nobody is perfect).
Several years ago, there was a stray dog that sat in the vacant space in front of our home. He looked thirsty and he had a large, fat tick hanging from one ear. I gave him a bowl of water and some roti (flatbread). He ate and drank gratefully and left. The next day, he was back and the day after. Feeding him became a ritual for our family.
My stepmother then started to offer him lassi (a drink made from buttermilk) which he would drink with gusto. For months, the dog (which we had decided to call "Chawdry-saab" which, in local Punjabi, meant someone who ruled or boss) would come in the mornings, knock on the gate with his paw and we would give him a bowl of lassi and feed him some roti.
There was a time when a stray cow found refuge in the vacant spot in front of our home. It is shaded and secluded so strays tend to rest there. It was a scorching summer that year and my Dad asked me to give the poor cow a drink. So I filled a bucket of water and carried it towards the cow. Cows are big animals and one bucket of water was not going to be enough so it meant several trips to the tap. For as long as we saw the cow there, we gave her water.
In our village, most ladies of the house would offer a piece or two of freshly cooked flatbread (roti) to the birds every morning. It is a tradition that dates back to as long as my parents can remember. We do the same. Every morning, I would take two rotis, go to our roof and feed the birds.
One very hot summer's day, we decided to leave a bowl of water out in the small garden for birds to drink. But, the bowl was small and some birds decided they wanted a bath so the water would quickly be used up. Dad then found a larger bowl. But the sun was relentless and the water would become too hot to drink. So I moved the bowl to the shaded spot next to the spare bedroom atop our home.
Crows, pigeons, mynahs, peafowl, doves, and even squirrels drink from that bowl every single day. Because this summer appears to be a record-breaking scorcher, I even added another bowl of water -- there are now two bowls.
Being kind to animals is just something our family believes in.