Anti corporal punishment crusader Sir Frank Peters never intended becoming a foster parent to a bird, but God works in mysterious ways they say. Meet Atom, a cuckoo bird (Cuculus canorus) once down on his luck, kicked out of the family nest, abandoned, and not expected to live overnight when Sir Frank came to his rescue – like a modern day knight in shining armour.
Atom had almost taken his last breath and was on the threshold of death when Sir Frank entered into its life. Only God knew the last time it had eaten or taken liquids, so the good knight delicately fed it watery rice via a syringe.
Having satisfied himself there was nothing more he could do. He then wrapped up the frightened distraught orphan in old clothing to keep it warm, gave it shelter, and left its fate in the lap of God.
He didn’t expect it to last the night, but to his surprise, the following morning the bird that his 8-year-old name-sake had affectionately named Atom, showed signs it had made a good recovery and the healing process continued.
Three times daily, Sir Frank gave Atom the breakfast-lunch-dinner-in-bed VIP treatment and eventually it paid dividends.
When the bird was well, he never wanted to make his feathered friend captive, he always left open the birdcage door so it could go and come as it pleased
Eventually, Atom in robust health and looking very handsome, left the home of his compassionate host but returned daily for its meals, which Sir Frank fed by hand.
Outside meal times, whenever Sir Frank left his home and was sighted by the cuckoo, it squawked as if to say ‘hi Frank’. Sir Frank would reply with a clicking sound that Atom came to recognise and the closest to a ‘conversation’ between man and bird ensued!
At meal times Atom landed on the windowsill or nearby TV cable and squawked for his meals like an impertinent impatient child. Sometimes he ate his meals perched on Sir Frank’s shoulder.
At the start of the migration season, Atom visited with his female mate and he hand-fed both of them. “I did not see Atom after that, but this week he was sighted by young Frank, so I’m hoping we will meet again before I leave Bangladesh,” said Sir Frank.
While Sir Frank’s intention was only to restore Atom to good health and release him to the wild, it would appear he’s created a bond of friendship between man and bird that many of us would envy.
Now it can be said appreciation and gratitude for Sir Frank’s kindness and compassion soars above him.