The Humiliation of a Hummingbird

The Humiliation of a Hummingbird

Huberta was one astonishing looking hummingbird. Honestly, there was little chance of finding another bird with a similar colour pattern. She was one of a kind. And quite kind to all the birds around her. Humming from dawn til dusk, prancing in flight from flower to flower, relentlessly working in the midst of the pollination season. Huberta loved the gentle way in which the August hot breeze caressed her wings and tiny beak. If this is not freedom, I don’t know what is, she whispered in the back of her head.

The fall was near and all the hummingbirds were getting ready and steady for the cold season. Huberta had forgotten all together what day it was, or how much she had worked that day. The only thing roaming in her sight was that “everything must be done by the beginning of fall, or we will all fall apart“. It was not pressure she was intimidated by, because she got thrills from racing into doing all the preparations.

Usefulness was her middle name.

Huberta Usefulness Hummingbird.

Yes, sir!

While she was setting up all the details which would make every hummingbird feel safe, nice and warm during the rain and snows, Huberta sang her big heart out. Humming this, humming that, humming up, humming down, humming all around.

Harriet was not your usual hummingbird, although she was… a hummingbird. Let’s just say that instead of humming melodies of past bird lives, Harriet was extremely fond of hammering other birds over things they hadn’t done or had done wrong. That’s why, she earned herself the nickname of Harriet the Hammeringbird. Huberta had recently settled in what was known as “Harriet’s Territory” so obviously, she had no idea about the ways of the place.

So she told herself: If I work with all my heart and soul as I have until now, everything will be alright.

Oh how Huberta’s dreams would all fall and crumble just before the beginning of fall.

It was in deed the beginning of the fall. The fall of happy humming, unstoppable passion for the hummingbird way of life and understanding of the hummingbird sense of fairness. With each day that passed, Huberta felt more and more as if she were walking on broken glass, although she did not walk at all. She flew, flapping her green-violet-ish wings back and forth.

In Harriet’s eyes, Huberta was nothing more than an inexperienced scary humble freshman. And all the hummingbirds were humming and rumouring about how the freshmen are initiated on “Harriet’s Territory”. One sunny summer day, while Huberta was flying around with worry that she had yet a lot of things to get done by sunset, Harriet appeared in the picture.

Huberta’s work was put under Harriet’s scrutiny and Harriet’s x-ray vision could burn right into almost anything she set her mind to burn to the ground.

This is NOT right!

That SHOULDN’T BE like it is!

I DID NOT tell you to do this LIKE THAT!

WHAT have you done all day long?

You ARE NOT LISTENING to me at all, are you?

HOW MANY TIMES do I need to tell you to do something?

I DON’T NEED your excuses!

I DON’T CARE that you had other things to do!

The sound of hammering could be heard for miles and miles and soon all the hummingbird colony found out what had happened between Huberta and Harriet. The sun was setting like molasses in the sky and so was hope for better days in Huberta’s uneasy soul. She had never felt so humiliated in all her hummingbird life and this weariness started spreading like a pest from her lambent eyes, to her humming beak, fluffy wings, gripping little claws all the way to the bottom of her heart.

But she promised herself to stand tall through the storm and the rain. No hammeringbird would bring Huberta Usefulness Hummingbird to her knees, that’s for sure! The taller Huberta stood, the hammering Harriet became. Huberta had just a glimpse of the respect she once had for Harriet’s work in the territory. As she was preparing to go to sleep one starry night, a thought just popped in her head: Succeed in managing yourself and you will lead the world! And this is exactly what she did…


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