Tuesday, August 17, 2010


my mom told me about these hummingbirds.  it's worth sharing...albeit i did flesh it out a bit! 

 one night the wind and rain swept through the trees with a fierceness that surprises most.  inside people peeked out through the curtains or maybe dashed out to roll up the car windows.  most sleep well under the pattering of rain drops.  in the morning the lawn was littered with brittle branches that just couldn't quite hold on anymore. 

on the end of one thin branch was a small bird nest,  and in the small bird nest, huddled against the elements, were some very, very small baby hummingbirds.   a woman found them as she walked from her home to her car.  she looked down at them and was astonished that these fragile little beings had weathered the storm.  they were like living jewels, rare and mesmerizing.  she gently picked up the branch as she scanned about for the mama bird.  most likely, she worried about the mama being frantic for the loss of her home and babies.  but being a mama herself, maybe she realized how little time she had before these glimmering bird buds died.  she took them in.

no doubt, it took her a bit to figure out how to care for such small birds.  maybe she asked a librarian for a book or maybe she just googled it.  she probably didn't ask the ranger who could report her for illegally housing wildlife or some such nonsense.   in any case, she learned to feed them but was wary of leaving them at home alone.  who knows what kind of mischief they could get in even though they couldn't yet fly.

so, this clever lady found a way to clamp the branch onto the dash of her car.  this way she could drive about and have the hummingbird babies nearby.  they were her co-pilots.

imagine you are this small bird in a small nest.  most nests are fairly still.  of course, the wind blows the boughs but they usually don't break.  the world is at rest until you take your first flight.  as you swoop down from that nest the green grass blurs, the ground rushes at you- suddenly your life is in fast motion.  your instinct kicks in and you flap your wings frantically.  you are simply hard-wired that way.  the faster the ground reaches out, the quicker the blurring, the faster you flap! 

as the car began to maneuver about, the curious birds noticed the world whirling around them.  they climbed up out of the nest's bowl and sat perched on the edge, no doubt to get a better view.  then their tiny brains tried to make sense of the speed they were traveling at.  the trees rushing past them, the clouds and sky streaming by- "of course!" their brains told them, "we are flying!"

and so the small hummingbird babies did just what their brains told them to- they flapped their shimmering wings as they motored about town on their dash board perch.  i bet they were so proud of their first flight- going 65 mph.

eventually they grew up and were released to live their lives sipping at flowers and being followed by the adoration of people.  maybe they weren't like all the other hummingbirds around the feeders- maybe they always did fly on the right side of the yellow lines and stop for every red light. 

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