Wild Fowls in Sutra | Photos: Abtin Javid

As often the case, as we endeavour to recreate the theatrics of life on stage, we may be unaware of the real life’s drama being staged right under our noses or in our own backyard.  In this case, a mini environmental encounter is being enacted around Sutra’s vicinity – that involving beautiful and fragile fauna pitted against the background of unconcerned urban scenario. If you are sitting in Sutra’s kitchen and are aurally discerning enough, you may hear the familiar sharp crowing of roosters from outside the windows. I look forward to these intermittent cock-a-doole-dos as they remind me of my childhood days when I used to look after my brother’s stable of Siamese fighting cocks (roosters don’t seem to strike the right chord). The fowls that fly the area around Sutra and sometimes, even spill to the ‘taman’ across the road, are no ordinary domestic ones.

Jungle fowls (2)
They are wild fowls which somehow have managed to thrive amidst the urban-scape of Titiwangsa. They create a rather incongruous spectre when they gather around the pavements during busy traffic but make an absolutely delightful and touching sight. My neighbor tells me that the original brood used to belong to the adjoining house owner but somehow have escaped.  Now that this owner had moved on, the wild fowls were left to fend for themselves.  This was already almost three years ago. The brood now lives in the trees around my neighbour’s house. I saw that there are now four new chicks which scamper wildly when approached. My neighbor feeds them and sometimes when they visit Sutra en-brood, I would make a great effort to feed them too. There are seven gorgeous red-faced males with glistening orange-brown plumes and bushy tail looking after one plain-looking female. Obviously, she is the Draupadi of the clan who is lucky to have seven Pandavas instead of mere five.  The seven magnificently cock-sure males vie with each other to be near her and take turns to fuss over her… They are wild and would fly off the very moment one even think of approaching them.  My heart goes to this handsome brood as they forage for whatever food there is.  It is a miracle to have them around the neighborhood.  We pray that they will be left alone and survive the danger of the busy traffic and cruel humanity, ready to pounce on them.