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Monday, June 11, 2018

The Hummingbird

The Hummingbird.

The wire that hangs the hummingbird feeder broke. I found some string to hang it back up. Tied one end to the feeder and as I am tying the other to the hook, I hear the loud humming and freeze. He eyes me, flies from my left side to the right, and then around to my back. I feel him staring at my back with wings buzzing and tiny little, singular chirps. Peeps really. Then he floats to the feeder and decides to do it. Drinks and peeps, 10 inches from my face as I stand frozen, my arms above my head.  I see a brilliant green back and a ruby red throat. I see the grass below him, shaded by the blur of his wings. I see dark brows that make his eyes look menacing. He takes his time.  After 30 seconds of drinking he's done and whirs away. I finish tying the feeder.

I remember one hot afternoon several decades ago living in a primitive log house in the Ottawa Valley. I stepped out the back and headed to the outhouse. Along the fifty foot path, bordered with plum blossoms, there were bees and wasps and mosquitoes and black flies. But then I heard a buzzing so loud it had to be the father of all bees, speeding right for me. I fell to the ground fearing the sting to end all stings. The hummingbird passed me by, ignoring my curled body as he swooped to the plum blossoms. I picked myself up and dusted myself off, grateful there was no one to witness my embarrassment.


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