Old man found a baby swallow bird that had fallen out of the nest.

He decided to feed it.

He fed the bird with worms he extracted from overripe cherries.

After a few months, the swallow became so accustomed to the old man, that the bird stood on his shoulder as he walked through the countryside.

Autumn arrived.

Old man was afraid that the swallow, out of love for him, would not want to fly south.

He decided to collect the money and take the bird to the sea…

This is a summary of a story about a life of Boško Dugački, old man from Serbia and his love for one bird. 

Here is his story

When I was a kid, I didn’t go to school.

I had six years.

I was a “Vojtar”.

I was guarding sheeps.

Do you know what a “Vojtar” is?

There is an old man, he guards sheeps, and I would go with him, and listen to everything he tells me to do.

“Go here, go there”, and I would go.  That is a “Vojtar”!

I have done that for several years, till I was 13 years old.

When I turned 13, then I started to guard other people’s pigs.

As a village pig farmer, I didn’t go to school.

My father, my papa, he would tell me;

“Son, you need to go to school!”.

There was a saying then; “Leave the school alone, it’s not like you are going to be a lawyer”.

What is important is that you have your daily bread, that you have enough for life.

Then one year, I caught a swallow bird.

I didn’t actually caught her, she fell out of a bird nest.

There was a lot of  bird nests there.

I wanted to return her to her mother, but I couldn’t find which one is her mother.

And I was thinking; „My God, what am I gonna do with her?“

I said to myself; „I am going to take her and try to raise her“.

I will try and see what will become of her.

And that is what happened.

I carried her home, and in that time we were picking cherries, and some cherries had worms inside.

So I told my wife; „Let us feed this little swallow“.

She asked; „How are we gonna do that?“, and I said; “We will feed her little worms”.

My wife was wondering will the swallow eat them, but I said; “We will try!”.

And we did.

The swallow tried worms, and ate 120 of them.

I fed her three times a day.

I fed her as much as she wanted, till she wanted no more to eat.

She ate 360 worms.

That lasted for a couple of days.

While there was cherries, there were worms.

When the cherries ran out, I was thinking; “What will I feed her now?”.

“She didn’t want to eat bread, so I said to my wife; “Now I will catch flies”.

She said; “You are acting like a little child!”.

Nevermind, I told her to take the fly swatter, and my wife would kill three or four flies, and I was feeding them to the bird.

I was putting the flies directly in the bird’s mouth till she was full.

When she would ate around 100 flies, she wouldn’t want to eat no more.

I didn’t force fed her, I would let her rest, and then gave her water.

I had to give her water mouth-to-mouth, otherwise she wouldn’t drink.

No bird wants to drink water normally.

Ok, the goose will, duck also, but the swallow and the pigeon… I know that, I held pigeons. You have to gave them water mouth-to-mouth.

Otherwise they will not drink, God forbid!

So I fed her, and then we would go out to play.

I fed her for months, three months she was with me, and she grew big.

Yes sir, she grow big!

I had good fun with her, she would follow me everywhere.

I would go to the yard, digging corn, and she would flew to my hat.

And I was like: “Look at may pretty swallow”.

I really enjoyed that.

Neighbours would laugh, they would be saying; “Look at you, you grew old and went nuts!”

And I would say; “Fuck it, I have to entertain myself with something, I am not able for anything else!”

And so, wherever I go, she would follow me.

She would flew down on my shoulder, or on my hat.

It was really nice.

I couldn’t go anywhere,

I would be cleaning the stable, she would flew on my shoulder.

I go to my room, she flies into my room and flew down onto me.

People would be telling me; “What are you doing, its ridiculous”, and I would say; “So what, it is just a swallow!”.

And so I lived with her, as people say, in good and bad times.

I had to, I loved her.

My wife would say; “Oh! my God, you are like a child. Let her go, let her live her own life”

And I would respond; “I grew accustomed to her, I can’t. I love her like my own life”.

I don’t know.

It’s dangerous when a man falls in love with something.

There there are no limits.

And so, I enjoyed her.

Every once in a while, if something is not good, if I have some worries, then I would think; “Where is my swallow?“.

And I was going to her, so that she brightens my day.

I would fondle her. I would let her go, she would then fly away and then, ooops, flew back to my hat.

I would walk her around the street, around the yard.

She wasn’t always with me, sometimes she would get detained somewhere, and then I would go to see where she is.

Then when I was digging corn, people would be telling me; “You don’t do anything, you just fondle your swallow!”

“I have to. You see that she loves me and I love her to”.

Everything was enjoyment, nice life and friendship, we really bonded.

….so, I tell you, kids like kids, someone loves them, someone not.

Who loves his father? No one loves his father!

They just say they do, they love you only when you provide for them, when you make them something to eat.

Then they say; “Wow, you have made this nicely!”, and afterwards, everyone minds his own business.

Everyone minds his own buck and how to spend it how they see fit.

Then they tell you; “Why did you have me, work for us”, and I work.

But you know, you are also a man, a human being, you also want to live.

But it is not good to argue.

I have five sons, the one you saw, he minds his own business.

He wants to be fed and dressed, and you have to do what you know.

You have to try and provide for him. „You are the parent. You have a duty“.

I do, I have a duty, that is how things are.

Then again, everyone loves his own.

Someone says, his son makes him angry, but still you love him.

Well, after all, he is mine.

Then I think, other sons are not much better, they are the same as my own.

And the swallow was… She wasn’t able to insult you.

She really made me satisfied and it was nice when she was flying down to my hat.

And my neighbours would say; “Hey you old man, you are like a little child, playing with a swallow!”

Well, I was, I loved her.

And when the night would come, I was wandering what I will do with her.

I was afraid that cats will eat her.

I have this little room, where i sleep alone, and my wife sleeps in the other room.

I would go to the room and open the door and put the swallow in there, where the cat can’t reach her.

That is how I ensured that she stays alive, because, if the cat eats my swallow, it is like she has eaten me too.

So I lived for her.

We bonded somehow, we were friends, and I really loved her.

But the time goes by, and I was watching the streets where the cars would go by.

Other swallows were already preparing to fly south.

I was thinking about her, was thinking that she will fly to low, and that the car would hit her.

I was thinking what to do?

Perhaps to move somewhere where there is no cars, so that car doesn’t kill her.

Because, cars go fast, car kills.

The driver thinks about driving, he can’t think about my swallow.

And then one day, she wasn’t there.

I was looking for her, I was worried, was searching everywhere.

There was no swallow no more, and I said to myself; “My swallow has died”.

My only regret is that I didn’t found the body.

Just to see where is she.

Then i said to myself; “Never again, Boško. Never again you will raise another swallow.

I couldn’t tell her not to go there, where it is dangerous!

That is why I came here, here where there is no cars.

Here the swallow would live with me.

Then again, I thought; „What I will do in the winter?“.

I was thinking about packing up my things and going to the see, where there is always warm.

To carry her to the see.

Then again, how could I do that!

I have no money to go to the see.

I was telling to my son; “Will you drive me with you car?”,

But he would say; „Dad, you are in a fantasy world, you are playing like a little child”.

“But that is the swallow!”

He would say; “There are millions of swallows”.

“But this one is fond to me, fondest of you all.”

That is what I was saying to him.

After that, when she went missing, I searched for her so long.

I searched for her for days.

But she was nowhere to be found.

We established that she was gone.

Car must have hit her, and she fell somewhere,

Who knows where?

She was run over by a car.

After that, half a year, or maybe a year after that, my wife died.

When she died, I said to myself; “That is it, there is no more joy in life”.

Being alone, and having nobody to love you, that is not life.

Everyone says that they love you, but that is all not true,

Everyone says that you are fond to them, but there is a little lie hidden there.

But the swallow, she didn’t know how to lie.

She really loved me, she loved me, and chirp to me!

Yes, she really loved me.

It was the only thing I had, someone who really respected me.

And she left to God.

I can’t do anything about it.

Yes, she has left to God!

Sometimes I think I should raise another swallow.

But then I say to myself; “Why would I harm myself like that”

If she disappears, I would die crying.

Let her live her own life, and i will live my own.

You know, I love all the birds. I love all animals.

I stumble on a snake, and then I let her go.

People tell me; “That is not ho it’s done”

“My dear friends. You love to live, she loves to live too.”

Then they say; “But that is a snake”

„So what! What do I know why has God created her“.

This is something I don’t want to meddle… 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.