Thursday, January 16, 2014

The hum of fury

I was hard up for sugar. We’d run out of Halloween candy weeks ago and I had PMS. I thought I was committing a victimless crime. Actually, I didn’t think it was a crime at all. I was just sucking nectar out of the red honey suckle flowers in front of my parents condo. My point of view  wasn’t what mattered though.

The humming bird that was watching me from across the garden had his own perspective. He was being robbed of vital life giving fluids. He flew at me like an angry mobster. Hovering in midair inches from my face he pushed out his chest, cocked his head up and looked at me like “what’s up? Why you messing with my stuff? You wanna fight?”

I did not want to fight. Humming bird beaks look sharp and this guy  meant business. I backed away slowly, my eyes trained on his dagger-like beak. As soon as I felt the front door behind me, I pulled it open ducked inside and slammed it shut behind me.

The next day, my boyfriend texted me saying that the green tea he’d left on his desk at work overnight had turned black. I told him not to drink it. I was pretty sure the humming bird was involved.

 “You should probably keep anything you’re eating or drinking within sight until you’re done with it from now on. I think a small bird with a thirst for vengeance that’s rivaled only by his thirst for nectar tried to poison you. He's going after you to get to me.That’s the only possible explanation for your discolored tea. Either that or it has something to do with oxidation.”

This was getting out of hand. I knew I had to do something to protect the people I cared about. Plus, I was starting to sympathize with the enemy. I remembered reading that humming birds need to eat almost constantly to keep up with their extremely high metabolism. Their wings are more on the level of an SUV than a hybrid in terms of fuel efficiency, so I could see why this lil’ guy wanted to defend his precious food source. There were only so many flowers on that honey suckle bush and one of us needed their sweet nectar more than the other.  

I went to three stores before I found one that carried hummingbird feeders. I figured it'd be about five dollars for the cheap plastic feeder and some nectar. It was closer to fifteen, but I sprung for it anyways. Then, to be sure the little gangster fully understood the significance of my offering, I wrote him a note – on a bright yellow Post-it (because humming birds love bright colors). I explained that I was sorry for taking his food and asked that he please leave the people I care about alone. Then I also asked if he would come along and provide bodyguard service for me at a BBQ I was attending later that week. (You know how carnivores can get towards vegetarians at BBQs).

 I never heard back from him about coming to the BBQ, but the time and money I spent was a small price to pay for peace of mind I felt afterward.  

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