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She spells hope and happiness

Lakshmikutty, a pet parrot that entered the home of a hapless couple, quite by accident, has brought cheer to their lives. T.K. SADASIVAN narrates this heart-warming tale.

AFTER A long time, Chinnamma is busy. The new member of the family keeps her on her toes right through the day. The little parrot, Lakshmikutty, that came flying into her life, has given her life a new meaning.

Chinnamma is the mother of Edmund Thomas Clint, the child prodigy, who left the world at the age of seven, leaving behind around 25,000 drawings and paintings. Since then Clint's parents, Joseph and Chinnamma, have been living a reclusive life, steeped in the colourful memories of their beloved son. Strangely, this parrot came calling on these two beautiful people, full of love and concern, spreading colour to their lives again.

It was the watchman of the building, where they stay, who picked up the little, injured parrot. Chinnamma carried it home, cleaned the wounds, fed it with milk and nursed it back to health.

Very soon it began to talk to her `amma' and even started picking up a smattering of words. If there is one thing that Lakshimikutty is obsessed with, it is mirrors. The moment she finds one she rushes to it, begins to stare at her image, and even starts to ruffle her feathers, preening herself proudly.

Lakshmikutty is fond of fruits and sweets. Whenever she wants something to eat she rushes to Chinnamma and even indicates what she wants by carrying a toffee wrapper, or a date seed to indicate her requirement.

The little bird is very possessive about Chinnamma as well as the toys she is fond of. She gets irritated when Chinnamma chats with others and demonstrates her disapproval by her angry shrieking. And when she feels she is ignored she pecks Chinnamma, expressing her strong feelings. When she becomes really angry she bites Chinnamma slightly, expressing her strong feelings. She demands all the attention, right through the day.

The day begins quite early for Lakshmikutty. She remains restless till Chinnamma wakes up and then for the next half an hour wants Chinnamma or Joseph to play with her. A whole lot of fascinating things, like colourful balls, tiny toys, dolls and curios have turned into her playthings. The moment Chinnamma or Joseph spreads out the newspaper Lakshmikutty is there, poring over it, smelling the freshness of the newsprint and sometimes even slicing portions of it with her beak.

Immediately after her breakfast, a bowl full of creamy milk, Lakshmikutty is off to the bathroom for a wash. She spreads her green feathers, dips them into the container filled with water, enjoying every moment of this activity. And then she flies to her favourite spot in front of the mirror.

Lakshmikutty has two other friends. Chinchoo and Ammu, girls who live in the neighbourhood. She is so attached to Chinchoo that she flies in search of her if she does not turn up for a long time.

Both Chinnamma and Joseph have become very attached to the bird. They have become protective too. They have bought a cage but do not have the heart to put their loved one into it. Instead, they ensure that she is safe, always trying to be around, while it hops and flies free. They hope and pray that Lakshmikutty will never fly away from their lives.

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