Ann, very moving, sweet, loving in your description of the event.  It makes one 
love you all the more.

--- In, awoelflebater <no_reply@...> wrote:
> Yesterday my husband handed me, ever go gently, the body of a dead 
> hummingbird he found outside our window where we keep two feeders stocked 
> with the sugar/water mixture so necessary for these small birds' survival 
> during the winters here in Victoria. He fills them every other day because 
> there is such a demand from these tiny creatures who often arrive, seven or 
> eight at a time, to flit and drink just outside our kitchen door.
> I took the small, frozen body out to bury it thinking of that frantic heart, 
> no bigger than a tear, now still within its pearlescent breast. Its eyes were 
> half open but sightless and that long, exquisitely fine beak as slender as 
> four strands of horsehair still looking perfect and unbroken, ready to sip 
> some fragrant nectar from some flower no longer blooming here in December. 
> And those little wings, usually invisible in their speed, were folded back 
> along the tiny body, looking so prim but probably just trying to keep itself 
> warm in those final seconds of having fallen to the ground, dying. 
> As I dug a small grave in the front garden underneath a statue of St Francis 
> (something that used to sit in my parent's yard) I noticed the gnarled 
> quality of the curled feet at the end of legs as fine as the smallest glass 
> pipette. And as I laid the little thing into the small hole I had dug and 
> covered it over, very gently so as not to crush the spent body within, I felt 
> a mixture of grief and amazement that something this fine, this perfect, this 
> active - this brilliant winking gem - was so stilled and because of that I 
> was able to hold it in my hand, an impossibility under any other 
> circumstances.
> Last night I was awakened by the wind, assaulting the house, driving the rain 
> against the window behind my headboard and I found myself thinking about the 
> hummer lying undisturbed under the soil. No wind buffeted there and all would 
> be quiet, dark and very calm. Strange how one little life, and death,  can 
> fill your thoughts. I'm still thinking about that bird, even as I see seven 
> others were drinking from the feeders, in this terrible wind, just ten 
> minutes ago.

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