MY mother never throws away leftover or old bread. The idea of food landing in the bin is heartbreaking to us all. We would rather that it be consumed by any living creature than go to waste.
Every day my mother collects the stale bread, tears them into small pieces or crushes the hard ones into crumbs, places them in flat open containers and carries them out in the back yard along with a water can. She pours water in the tray containing bread pieces to let them soak and soften. The dry crumbs are left as they are. Along side these two, she places a bowl of water.
This is food for the birds. And this has been regular practice for years. As a result, everyday literally hundreds of birds visit us in two-shifts to partake in the feast. The Laughing Doves relish the big moist pieces while the flocks of House Sparrows peck on the crumbs. The Red and Blue Vented Bulbuls stake claim to both ‘dishes.’
Occasionally, the Hoopoe, Parakeet, Common Myna and Tree Pipits also drop by to grace the banquet with their presence, if only for the water.Our mornings and afternoons are infused with the chirps and twitter of ‘mum’s birds’, as we call them. By evening, the trays are empty. For my mother, this is her way of earning ajr (reward) from Allah. Any deed, however small, that serves or benefits the creatures of God is reward-worthy. For more read here.