Monday, September 3, 2012

Death of a Hummingbird . . .

   Today when I got back from the mountains where I attended a big quilt show, I went over by our clubhouse to water the plants as I do normally every other day. Suddenly I spotted something moving and trying to get away from something I couldn't see. When I got close, it was a hummingbird, a small one, on the pavement, and the ants were after it.  I immediately picked it up, took it inside the clubhouse and carefully hand cleaned any ants off of it with warm water.  Then I dried it off and took it home.
   Once home, I made a makeshift "nest" to keep the little bird warm lest it be in shock. Then I hung the hummingbird feeder next to it and tried to get it to take a little nourishment lest it be dehydrated. Through much of the day, I stayed with it, trying to coax it to get better from whatever had befallen it. At times, it seemed as though it was rallying around, sipping the nectar with its tongue as I would help it to drink from the feeder. I felt certain that it was improving.
   But as suddenly as I first found it, it slipped away, its little tongue gently out in a beautiful little sad arc.
   I have placed it gently into a tiny ceramic birdhouse lined with cotton balls and it is still seeming to drink from the feeder. I just can't seem to let it go without some sort of homage to it, even if it be temporary. Poor dear little soul.
   Hummingbirds have found their way into much art, poetry and other writing. I can see why. They are such endearing birds, perhaps because they are so tiny and so seemingly fragile, though they can actually be quite aggressive when they are defending their territory. Sometimes they are immensely curious as well, coming right up close to other animals or people with seemingly no fear. They will look for a long time, as if trying to get to know the nature of something better, or perhaps they are trying to look into our very souls.
   I found this beautiful poem about hummingbirds, and it seems a fitting goodbye to my tiny little friend.
And the humming-bird that hung
Like a jewel up among
The tilted honeysuckle horns
They mesmerized and swung
In the palpitating air,
Drowsed with odors strange and rare.
And, with whispered laughter, slipped away
And left him hanging there.
- James Whitcomb Riley

1 comment:

  1. Hi Annie just found your site thru community thrive and can i say what a lovely thing you did for that poor wee Humming bird bless you
    {{{{{{{{{BIGHUG}}}}}}}}}}} for caring :O)Lizmaynz
    aka Pauline