As I wrote in 2011 on Gerald Durrell’s birth anniversary, I was born to be wild. Much to the horror of my neighbours, I discovered ways to re-wild a part of my home.
If you don’t know me by now, this you must know: I love humans less, and this has been both tested and proved. It makes me a bit of a misanthrope and a marriage counsellor’s whipping boy, but I know for a fact that it also makes me, if nothing else, an interesting, unusual and somewhat incomparable father. Your kid’s daddy might be the president of the residents’ association but no one else’s daddy this side of the world has been known to pop a baby cobra into an empty tin of Pediasure and spirit it away to safety from other parents armed with hockey sticks.
Every now and then I delight in a moment where I can introduce my daughter to something alive and wild — the birth of a butterfly, a sisterhood of elephants, the jawbone of a monitor lizard, the love song of a carpenter bee, the bill of a pelican, the colour of a fruit bat’s fur, the proud puff of a baby cobra’s hood… And when I meet parents who, like me, revel in the moment they introduce their own children to these fast diminishing joys of nature, I can sense their wonder and share their delight. And rest, at least for a wink, in the comfort that our tribe will increase.
Thanks to Krithi Karanth for this innervating talk about her dream to re-wild India. Watch, share and teach your children well.