2 Birds, 2 Stories and 1 Lesson

Once the Dodo birds were found in the islands of Mauritius, where abundant food sources like fruits, nuts, seeds, bulbs and roots were readily available to feed themselves.

They gained large sizes and weight and their wings became smaller. The relative absence of mammalian herbivores and predators made them careless and fearless. They would lay eggs on the ground itself.

In the process, they forgot their real strength and capability. Their distinctive beaks were capable of delivering a fairly painful bite to defend themselves. Despite having features of their skeleton, similar to flying pigeons, and capable of flight, they became flightless, but by nature, they remained friendly creatures.

In 1600, Dutch sailors started coming in there. They started killing dodos for their meat. Other animals like monkey, pigs and dogs brought with sailors, also started eating their food items, and rats started eating their eggs. But dodo birds were not in a position to fly or resist attack by the invaders and finally they got extinct in the 17th century. Only two mummies are now found in Mauritius University and Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Now coming to another bird, Cassowary, the deadliest bird, that is native to the humid rainforests of New Guinea and north-eastern Australia. They are omnivorous and feed on fruits, seeds, roots, shoots, small creatures, fungi etc. Cassowaries are shy and fascinating birds, but they are adept at disappearing long before a human knows about their presence. They prefer to live in groups.

The most dangerous weapon of cassowaries is four-inch, dagger like claw on each foot. When they are threatened, they charge at the lightening speed (upto 50 kms per hour), and can slice open any predator with a single swift kick. Cassowary attacks on humans occur every year in Australia resulting in serious injuries.

Though several deaths of cassowaries have been reported due to encounters with vehicles, dogs and pigs, but still they have been able to maintain their existence due to their strength and defence mechanism.

These two stories give a lesson that over-dependance is fatal. The history has proven time and again that this world belongs to those who have their own strength and capabilities to resist misadventures by enemy forces. Losers are easily forgotten by people. It happened centuries ago, and it’s happening even now. Only the places and faces change.

Kindness, non-violence and compassion are certainly good human values and qualities, we should all have, but attackers and invaders don’t understand this language. They have to be paid back in the same coin to protect ourselves, to maintain our own existence. God also helps those, who help themselves.

I conclude with a quote by Desmond Tutu:
We learn from history that we don’t learn from history.

–Kaushal Kishore

images: pixabay


  1. Too bad for the dodos, their comfort brought them to extinction. What a deep lesson. True, only the best survive and often times we are called to defend ourselves. May we learn this time and be able to change Desmonds quote

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re absolutely right, Kevin. When you have to defend yourself from invaders, you have to play offensive. Offence is the best defence in such cases. Thank you for appreciating the post and sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Nancy, balance is difficult to maintain. In normal time, we should be considerate and humane in our approach, but when the very survival is at stake, we should have no choice, but to retaliate. Thank you for sharing your considered view.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your fascinating today’s morality tale, Kaushal, is always the start of the thought-provoking debate. While from ancient times the often repeated adage was, “If you want peace, prepare for war”,
    Mahatma Gandhi opposed violence and his memory and wisdom live on. Of course, one must defend one’s country, but in everyday life when insulted, betrayed, or used, we would lower ourselves to the level of the perpetrator if we were to behave the same way. In my view, it is best to walk away as life is too short to waste on aggressive exchanges.
    Thank you, Kaushal, for the pictures, and the remainder of the sweet-natured but hapless Dodo.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m in agreement with you, Joanna, our behaviour in daily usual life should be different from one when war is thrust upon us. I have also underlined it in the last two paragraphs of my write-up. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful reflections.


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