There’s a brave little hummingbird in the thorn-tree down the way; I walk past her on the way to class nearly every day. It was her song that first caught my attention; I knew most of the birdsong, except that of the wrens which we didn’t have down south, but I had soon learned the song of the wrens and determined that this was not a wren singing.
I finally spotted her one day; though I doubt anyone else even noticed her. I saw her tiny silhouette against the flat grey of a winter sky. She was so very small; I didn’t understand why she stayed, it just didn’t make sense. Why not just migrate far south into warmer climates? Why stay here? Washington can be a land of ice unless you have a good coat.
She didn’t have a coat; I have no idea how she stayed warm. I could catch no color in her feathers, but then again, there was next to no light; you can’t have color without light. And so she appeared a grey and drab little creature- too small for anyone to notice; her voice too harsh, discordant, and peppery to be liked.
I pitied that little bird; and I did not understand her. She should have just left. But she stayed; brave creature.
I walked to classes the other day and did not hear her song. Perhaps the snow has frozen her to death; I don’t know. Or perhaps she did indeed leave for some tropics. I don’t know. I’m not sure I will ever know. I do not understand her.