Zemfira Maharramli. The Swallow’s Nest.


The Swallow’s Nest

I want to tell you a story that happened in the summer days. It was the first days of May. We’ve only just moved to the dacha on the outskirts of Baku. I was walking with my grandchild Nigar in the garden, watched the charms of cherry, apricot and almond trees that were in blossom. We were sniffing roses recently bloomed and smelled sweet.

At times I was to answer the endless questions of five-year-old Nigar, then tried to explain to her who wanted to know, sleeking down her silky hair. The little girl was interested in everything: the birds singing early in the morning, working bees that suck the sweet-smelling flowers and make honey, the “comb” on the head of hoopoe, how are fed many-coloured butterflies, and so on…

At that very moment, two swallows flew away overhead. We noticed that they flew extremely low and perched on the ceiling of our veranda. Very soon the birds flew away and were back again.

This time they brought the chaff and all kinds of brushwood on their beaks. They did the same things over and over again, they didn”t get tired, flew away and back, and were building for themselves a nest by all kinds of brushwood, sand grains and clay.

We’re used to seeing these two swallows. We missed them when they disappeared sometimes. And the birds no longer feared us. The female swallow stayed at the nest, she was sitting on her eggs. Nigar was also looking forward to see how the little swallows would be born out of the eggs.

One morning we woke up from the peeps of birds. The female swallow hatched. The male swallow was flying over the nest, peeping and chirping noisily.

Every other morning each of us and the little Nigar saw an interesting scene. The parent-swallows taking care of each little swallow and separately feeding them who opened mouths widely. They found earthworm out of wet soil, took the little insects on the air, and untiredly carried to their nest.

One day Nigar asked me:

“Grandma, will these little birds always be in the nest?”

“Honey, when the female-swallow teaches them to fly they’ll leave their nest”

“But they have not been yet covered with fluff…”

“Yes, my sweet, they have not become hairy yet…”

“I see, these little birds will fly when they get feathered, and spread their wings”

Soon we have also witnessed the appearance of this moment. One of the hot days in early morning the female and male swallows perched on an electrical wire near the nest and were chirping, as if they told something their little babies. We watched this scene together with Nigar. Suddenly my granddaughter squealed with delight.

“Grandma, this is the flying day of little swallows, I think!”

“Look, how the nest is narrow for them! Let us see, how they fly!”

The noisy lessons and support of parents had encouraged the little swallows. First, the more courageous one perched on the edge of nest and began to jump up and down, and suddenly opened her delicate wings and flied directly to the wire, and perched on next to her mother. As if the rest of the little swallows stood in a queue for flying as the other baby. This time female-swallow flied to the nest chirping noisily, then flied back to the wire. As though she was making her babies understand how to fly.

The nest became animated; the little birds that have been already grown up bustled about the nest and wanted to fly. At last all the rest swallows flied to the electrical wire and perched on next to mother.

The next day and all coming days the little birds frequently found themselves flying and perched on the branches of trees, flower bushes and the edge of pool.

At last, one day female and male swallows and their babies flied away and disappeared absolutely. The nest that we looked at every time with love had been emptied. A new life had begun for them, a period to fly on the blue heavens. Nigar has been asking me a lot lately.

“When our swallows will be back?”

I understood her longing for her winged friends, said:

“Don’t worry, my sweetheart Nigar, they say swallows return back to their first nest. They will be back again to give birth to their babies, grow up their little sweets and teach them to fly. They will be back when we feel the smell of spring, they are first signs of spring…”


Translated by KAMRAN NAZİRLİ

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26 thoughts on “Zemfira Maharramli. The Swallow’s Nest.”

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