Summary of the Poem Death of A Bird

Summary of the Poem Death of A Bird by Keki N. Daruwalla


Summary of the Poem Death of A Bird : Summary of the Poem Death of A Bird by Keki N. Daruwalla

The Hunter’s (The Narrator’s) killing A Male Monal Bird Callously:

The narrator, who was on a hunting expedition along with his female companion, entered a forest where two monals, male and female were passionately engaged in the act of mating beneath the projecting rocks. They seemed to be in a state of intense passion. Their manner of mating was very fierce and violent. Besides making violent movements and activities, they were screaming. The female bird was somewhat shy, passive and timid. It seemed as if she had no personality of her own or she had nothing distinctive or special while the male bird seemed to be the master of the situation. In fact the male bird had a domination nature.

He (male bird) was the king. The male bird wanted to imply his own whims in this game of love and sex-making. He wanted to involve in sexual act with his companion in a very aggressive way. The male bird could be compared to a dream of fire. The hunter (narrator) who carried a gun with him, took aim at one of the birds and fired. The hunter’s aim was accurate. The bullet hit the male bird. The male bird fell down on the ground. The bird was almost dead (it means that the bird was not actually dead, but it was on the verge of death) because its heart was throbbing. The hunter (narrator) and his female companion felt no regret for their heinous act. Without any feeling of compassion, they picked up the dying male bird and mercilessly put into their bag. While doing so, they forgot all humanly feelings (such as the feelings of mercy, generosity and sympathy).

They showed their hard heartedness in this act. The female bird was so much frightened and terrified that she began to utter loud cries. Feeling utter pain, she flew away from the crag where she was engaged with her companion in the act of love and sex making. After having killed the male bird, the hunter with his female companion moved on. They were carrying their bag with them in which the dying male bird was lying and was counting his last moments. The sky was being covered with mist and the narrator and his companion felt somewhat tired.

Their (The Hunter and His Female Companion) Feeling no Regret and Guilty at Their Heinous Sin:

Having killed the male bird and putting it into their bag which they were carrying with them, they, without feeling any regret and guilty at the commission of heinous act, moved on. They (the narrator and his female companion) did not ponder over their sin of killing the bird. It seemed as if they had no attachment with humanly feelings pity, sympathy and generosity. They seemed to be emotionless. They showed as they did nothing by killing the innocent male bird.

They took this killing as their fondness of hunting. In their opinion it was not tyranny but it was only game for entertainment. They found that the sky was being covered by mist. They felt themselves somewhat tired. They also felt that their feet could not carry them further. But they kept on moving. Clouds were gathering on the crags. As their pony was also walking slowly, the hunter and huntress gave it a push to quicken its pace. They smote the pony on its shanks so it lost its balance and fell down the rock a thousand feet below, where the river was flowing with the sound of roaring.

Their Showing No Mercy for their Pony: Death of A Bird

When the hunter and huntress found that their pony was moving very slowly, they, without showing any mercy for the mute animal, smote on its shanks in order to make its pace fast. While doing so, they did not care the problem of the animal. They ignored the tiredness of the animal. But they had to bear the loss of cruelty. Their pony lost balance and it fell down the rock a thousand feet below. After falling down into the river from a great height, it was seriously wounded. It felt severe pain.

When its pain was unendurable it screamed loudly. Its scream fell into the ears of the hunters. They were horror stricken at this tragic incident. For some time, they were greatly stunned at the tragic death of their pony. But they did not take their pony’s death seriously. They felt somewhat disappointed, yet they continued their journey knowing that nothing important took place. They, after sometime, were consoled. They considered the pony as unimportant thing.

Both the Hunter’s and His Female Companion’s Feeling Disappointed and Depressed after Pony’s Death:

After the tragic incident of the death of their pony, the hunter and the huntress felt little depressed, but they soon preserved themselves by thinking as if nothing important took place. They resumed their journey through the rocky way of the forest. It was evening. Bears and jackals were howling. It seemed as if they were looking for their prey and they wanted to get benefit of the growing darkness.

The hunter felt that the bears might be lurking behind the bushes in order to attack and capture their prey, so, in great fear, he fired his gun. He fired his gun at his confusion so he missed his aim each time. When jackals howled, his female companion asked if they were wolves, but he made no reply. He took her hand gently in his hand and they walked gently towards a cave which was surrounded by pine trees. The hunter found that there was less danger.

Their Continuing the Journey in Darkness through the Way Full of Wild Animals: Death of A Bird

It was evening and the darkness was growing thicker. They were passing through the dense forest of rocky area. After being recovered from the tragic incident of the death of their pony, they were moving on their journey. Physical tiredness was growing upon them. The way through which they were passing was full of wild animals such as the bears, jackals and wolves etc. With the approach of evening and growing darkness, these wild animals were looking for the prey.

They felt some noise behind the thick growth of the bushes. They thought that there might be some wild animal. So, under the effect of suspicion, the hunter fired his gun many times but in vain. Every time he missed his aim. The female companion was much terrified. The hunter consoled her taking her hand in his. They moved on towards a cave surrounded by the pine trees.

They might not have been able to find this cave if they had not seen a growling dog which had been left behind the resin-tappers to guard their cans containing the resin already collected by them. Nearby they saw more and more mist spreading and thickening. The hunter lit a fire of turf and feat. He rubbed her clotted sides and feet in order to warm her. Their limbs came into a close contact but for some reason the inwardly felt somewhat apprehensive.

Extreme Cold and Activities Happening in Darkness of Night: Death of A Bird

The mist was spreading and thickening. With the thickness of the mist, the atmosphere around them also became cold. The woman began to shiver with cold. The man at once collected the dry grass and dry dung of animals and lit the fire. He rubbed her feet and other parts of her body which had become numb with extreme cold. When the woman was somewhat relaxed from cold, both of them decided to kill one more bird. The hunter with her woman companion was ready with his gun to shoot the next and final prey.

Neither of them had at this time any sense of guilt because they thought that they had done nothing wrong by shooting the bird, firing the bullets at the prowling bears and not lamenting at the tragic death of their pony. At this time both of them were guilt free. They felt no regrets at their heinous deeds of cruelty. The atmosphere was now changing. It was growing dense dark. The woman put her head on the hairy chest of man so that she might feel warm from utter cold.

The hunter held her hair tightly in his hand to give relax to himself and to his woman companion. As the woman felt warmth of man’s body she slept. Being tired, the man also slept. They were lost in their night dreams. The night kept advancing on its climax. The moon made its appearance for an hour or two. The wings of the dead bird looked dark. The wolves seemed to have vanished and so did the mist. The man and the woman would have continued to dream of peace and of love if a wind had not begun to blow. The wind seemed to cause a great disturbance in the night. The loud sound of the blowing wind could be compared with the witch who moans loudly in pain. It is a belief among the people that when a witch feels great pain she begins to moan loudly.

 Realising their Sins During Sleep: Death of A Bird

Being extremely tired and suffering from utter cold, the man and woman moved to a cave where they wanted to spend their night. The cold night was advancing. Both the man and the woman free from the sense of guilt and sin sat in the cave to relax themselves. While sitting bodily closed, both of them slept. Now there was calmness in the atmosphere of the night. They got sound sleep. They were lost in the dream of peace and love. The wind blowing loudly disturbed their sleep and this disturbance made them awake. During their sleep while wandering in the land of dreams, they (man and woman) came to realise their sin and guilty.

Perhaps they repented at their heinous deeds. When they woke up, the man picked up his gun and broke it into two. Suddenly a brown bird rose higher from the crags. It flew with great force. While, flying very fast and with great force, it passed over the heads of the man and woman. When the bird saw these two persons sitting there, it shrieked with fear. Perhaps it thought these two persons to be responsible for the killing of its companion.

Under the impact of utter fear and terror, it fell at the feet of the man and the woman. When the woman saw the bird lying on the ground beside their feet, she at once identified it and called upon man in great wonder by saying that it was the mate of the one which they had shot at the very outset when they (the male and female birds) were busy in love and sex making. The bird was lying beside their feet with its open eyes. It seemed as if it was dead or at the verge of death (was about to die).

She expressed the view that now a curse would overtake them. She indicated to the eyes of the dead bird (or perhaps the dying bird) to tell the man that its eyes were still terror-stricken. The woman told the man that they would have to pay the penalty for having shot the male bird and having thus been indirectly responsible for the death of the female bird.

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