General Fiction posted September 27, 2011

This work has reached the exceptional level
Incredible journeys of hummingbirds

A Miracle

by Realist101

Dew-damp wings kept the tiny bird in her nest. She began to wake as the first light glimmered on the horizon and she shook herself, at first lightly, then with real determination. She flung the water off in a minute shower, soaking a near-by mantis. It hunkered down, then wiped the droplets off, all the while glaring at the hummingbird.

The chill of the night began to wane as the sun glinted over the hills and its rays wiped the sleep from the eyes of the earth. The little ruby-throat daintily readied herself for her first flight of the day. She preened her wings, until finally, they were dry enough to use. Then, as if a mere shadow, she was gone and away, off in search of life-giving nectar and the warmth of a new day.

Disgruntled and ready for a fight, the mantis moved up past the small nest. There would be insects to feast on higher up in the canopy of the trees. It looked out at the world through a hundred eyes, but saw only one target at a time. Beneath the shelter of a leaf, so small it could fit onto the face of a nickel, sat a tree frog, it too, stiff from the chill of the night. When the mantis' jaws bit onto its back, it leapt out into the air, free-falling with its attacker already chewing. Prey and predator disappeared downward onto the forest floor, their battle engulfed by the dry, dead leaves.

Fall was here, the chill settled over the land, a blanket of cool that told the little hummer it was time to feed for her coming journey. She flitted from faded bloom to faded bloom. She had almost waited too long, the last of the flowers had dried up overnight. She went faster now, and searched for the red liquid that the humans sometimes put out for her kind. It was gone. September was over. It was time to go. She sat on the limb next to her nest, peering out across the Indiana skies. She would memorize this place, and let her DNA guide her back with the jet stream in the spring.

Up, up, she flew. The thousands of miles would be a challenge. But she had traversed them several times now, and the warmth of Brazil called. She put her motor into overdrive and day-dreamed of the huge petals of hibiscus and lilies. She went out into the wind. Out to find her destiny.


Inspired by a Nature episode...and the most beautiful little birds in the world. I will miss them. Thank you for reading and to Picasa for the loan of this pix.
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