There are times in life when the creaking of the night insects, the chirping of the birds, the buzzing of the toilet flies, the cheeky wheezing of mosquitoes and the pristine way of a budding plant needling its way into prominence, do not mean anything other than another day gliding by.
At such times, humans- those walking, breathing, thinking beings are pensive, disturbed and engaged in thoughts they consider more important. Their lives are fast-paced, the congested milieu dictating their movements.
Quick, minced movements.
Especially in a place like Lagos.
Reality convinces them with callous whispers and they are lost in the blinding maze, caught in the maelstrom.
For this reason, they do not -cannot- notice the cock that lives just behind their high-rise building with peeping windows and threadbare curtains.
The very same cock that dutifully cranes its bony neck, reminiscent of years of improper feeding, and crows with all its might, every morning and noon.
The cock that is so faithful to its job.
It is only the children that notice it sometimes; at times some of the children run in fear, others chase the unwary cock to distances afar, while the rest are merely delighted by the weird way of the feathered being.
Yet the harried adults do not appreciate it for what it is. Reality steals it away from them- or what they call reality.
The unattractive, tumbledown houses with soot and algae slowly eating up their perishing walls, the meagre market sales, and the menial jobs too. That is their reality.
They fail to see the cock, that winged creature that is part of their existence; that starts their morning with its not-too-sonorous voice and blends into the entire day, fulfilled.
The cock that wades humbly in the stagnant liquid waste of dwellers.
They forget it is the same cock they will tear at with their molars in a few weeks when there is nothing to eat.
At such times, it is easy to forget nature’s gift. Which is our true reality.