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Overpowering motherly instinct

Neil Ray | Published: November 09, 2019 12:45:29 | Updated: November 15, 2019 21:52:57


Clytemnestra, in Greek mythology, was the wife of Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, and the sister of Helen of Troy.

A truck driver in Kerala has sought legal aid from the local police station. You know why and against whom? His adversary is not a man but a crow. The flying foe has made a hell of life for him. Every time he comes out of home, the crow swoops on his head to strike with its beak or spoils his food or starts crowing raucously overhead at the time of driving his truck. The feathery neighbour gives him no peace.

But why has he been made a target of such attacks by the usually peaceful bird? It is a mother raven from which nest the truck driver stole a few eggs about one and a half years ago. Since then the raven has recognised the Keralite as a sworn enemy. Coming out with his dog in the open was of no use. The crow was on target before flying away. Her motherly instinct coupled with the species' remarkable identification capacity has made the crow so vengeful.

This is not the only instance of crow's attack on man. Again, in another incident of similar nature, a man from Madhya Pradesh, India was made a target of a local flock of crows. As the story goes, the man was continually poked and bitten by the aggressive band of crows when he came out of his house. In this case, the day labourer however claimed his innocence. About three years ago he tried to save a crow chick stuck in a net but it died in his hand. Since then the families of crow made him a target of repeated attacks.

He had marks of bites and scratches all over his head and body. The man then started carrying a stick with him to save himself from crow attacks. But still some of the crows could manage to unleash their wrath on him. Like the Kerala man his life was made miserable but unlike the former he did not seek security of his life from the police station. Instead, the man expressed his frustration that the crows simply misunderstood him. He wished he could make the crows understand what he intended with the chick.

Now from crows to monkeys, hanuman (black-faced monkey) to be precise. A group of such monkeys recently went to Keshabpur police station with an injured infant as if to lodge their complaint. They stayed there for hours and then left when the staff of police station fed them. It is not known if the band of monkeys was assured of justice or how the staff there persuaded them to leave the thana complex. But one thing is clear that these animals have known from experience that aggrieved parties go to the police station with complaints against wrong-doers or criminals.

Following this incident another group of monkeys in a place not far from the capital also protested injuries to one of its members. A monkey was hit by a car and it was bleeding. The flock then had surrounded the car for about an hour before the driver was rescued by the local people or police.

Elephants with superior intelligence often demonstrate the close bond in their fraternity. A number of elephants died in Thailand in an attempt to rescue a cub that fell into a pool from a slippery hill.

However, there is something more to the group affinity when it concerns a mother. The motherly instinct turns a crow revengeful to the extent that it harbours the pain and vengeance in its bosom just like a human mother. The most illustrious example is that of Clytemnestra. Her daughter Iphigenia was taken away from her by the girl's father King Agamemnon and leader of the Greek troops for sacrifice to appease goddess Artemis in order to get favourable wind for sailing for Troy. At the end of the Troy war, the king returns home only to be slain by Clytemnestra. She did not forgive her husband for lying to her at the time of taking away her daughter. Such is the motherly love and motherly fury. The crow does not fall behind the human species by much on this count. Clytemnestra from Greek mythology and a crow of the 21st century thus find a meeting place on the strength of motherly love and revenge on murder of their offspring.

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