Ann, very moving, sweet, loving in your description of the event. It makes one love you all the more.
--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, 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. >