I wrote this little ditty of a piece as a submission for an animal story in a magazine. They wanted something that really threatened man and beast. This was too much of a fluff-ball for them, but I really liked it and thought I would share it. 🙂
We met eye to eye on my back porch. He/she/ it, whatever, didn’t look friendly. “Whatever” studied me, and I could tell by its movement around my crow’s nest high deck overlooking the bay, it was searching for food. I stood perfectly still.
“Looking for something?” I murmured more to myself, not wanting to scare it. As quickly as it came, it left. Maybe it’s hungry and I should feed it?
No sooner than my mind flash on its beauty, it returned. “God, you’re fast,” I whispered as its fluttering wings zipped by me, a clicking sound following in its wake. It shone an iridescent red and green, a tiny Christmas tree of cheerful colors soaring straight up into the air like a fighter jet, but then it made a sharp right, and returned back to the porch, and in my face, not two feet away!
“Lots of crow’s here, little hummingbird. One could snap you up and crunch you like a potato chip. If not them, those black vultures that eat live prey. Hungry? Not many plants for you this year with the fires.”
It circled me, and buzzed near my ear as it repeated its last route around the porch and hovered over the gallon water jug. “It’s not sugar water, but I’ll buy you a feeder and hang it on the porch.” The little shining Christmas-tree clicked a verbal reply and took off.
Yeah, like it understood me. Fat Chance. I wasn’t that stupid.
I drove down the hill to the old hardware store on Main. I bought a plastic feeder and red sugar water. “They like the color red,” Jerry behind the counter said as if I didn’t know. At home, I hung the feeder up, about six feet off the ground, just like the directions read. I eyed the circling black vultures. Not a good year for them either.
I waited and waited, but the sun got the sugar water that summer. Don’t know what happened for certain to the little bird as I envisioned it being chased by one crow and caught by another, its neck snapped like a potato chip. But maybe it moved on to a safer place.
In a weak moment, I was going to buy a little Christmas ornament I saw in the local hardware store, a shining bird of red and green that one could clip on a Christmas Tree that winter, but I didn’t. I was sorry “Whatever” didn’t return, but truth be told, I was mighty glad for its visit.