~~ "It's All Life, until it's Over" ~~
Kilgore Trout

~~ " In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?”" ~~
Saint Augustine

~~ “Nobody would do anything if they knew what they were in for.” ~~
"Amarante", in "Milagro Beanfield War"

~~ "May you Walk with Beauty All Around You" ~~
Navajo Blessing

Friday, March 30, 2012

In the Olden Days

I don't think I've told this before.

When I was a kid, no more than 11 years old, I tried to make a pet out of anything I could catch.  Well, one day I caught a hummingbird. 

I was weeding under a hedge in my mother's garden, and there was a aerial fight going on around me between a couple of hummingbirds.  The hedge was a fence with a thick honeysuckle vine growing on it, the old kind with yellow flowers.  The two birds were really at it, when suddenly one of them fell to the ground.   Just as quickly it flew up to a vine that was about two foot from my head.  It sat there, sort of stunned, probably falling into torpor or something.. I learned about torpor much later.  I carefully reached up and picked it gently off it's perch, and as calmly as I could, carried it into the house.  By the time I got inside with it, I'd mapped out a plan of how I was going to take care of it.

Among my many plastic purses of the era, I had a clear one, consisting of  two rounded halves that snapped together to form a sort of flattened sphere with lattice like bars, in other words it looked like a perfect bird cage.  It was also very soft and flexible so I thought this would be best for "my" bird. Over the next few hours, I fed "my" new pet sugar water, first from a spoon and then from a white flower from the garden.  The little bird was very willing to eat! 

I called a pet store to find out what sort of cage I needed.  They advised me to bring the bird in.  It was the best advice to give as it turns out, because even if what happened next hadn't happened, they would have talked me out of my ridiculous idea.

I was carrying the plastic purse with  my very precious hummingbird inside out across our huge lawn - we lived by a river - and I tripped.  I fell with arms outstretched like a wide receiver getting a ball across the goal line, and ,thus, squeezed the (very flexible) purse open.  Instantaneously, out flew the hummingbird, which made a bee line for the tallest eucalyptus tree it could find.  It was probably saying something like, "thank you for all the sugar water", for all I knew as I picked myself up off the ground.  My little brother was crestfallen, too.  Our  mother was too far away to have tripped me, though she had probably wanted to.

Later in life, when I am over my childhood regrets, there now floats a happiness for the one that got away.  Over time, as I learned more, I realized that hummingbirds have Guardian Angels, too, and those Angels will trip up the ignorant child who makes off with one of "their" hummingbirds.

And a first blossoming, ever, for a little succulent from June. Those babies really grew over the winter!



  1. What a great story. Beautiful in so many ways.

  2. Thanks Sarah-hope, and thanks for stopping by.


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