A HUMMINGBIRD'S TALE

(With Socio-Political Implications)

Sanford "Sandy" Wilbur


First, the frost is on the pumpkin
Then the pumpkin's in the pie
Then the pie is in the oven
And the oven's turned up high...........

 

The oven was soon opened
And a hummingbird flew out.
And the folks expecting goodies
They began to jump and shout.

 

But the jumping and the shouting 

Didn't stop the hummer's flight

He flew right out of the window

And took off into the night.

 

The hummer fled the country
(The folks ate store-bought pie.)
The hummer found a jag-u-ar
And looked him in the eye.

 

Bird asked the cat directions
To a farm down in the south
The jaguar grabbed the hummer's foot
And hauled it to his mouth.

 

With lightning speed, the hummer jabbed
His beak into the jaguar's tongue
The jaguar swore (I can't say how,
because you're much too young.)

 

His chance for life extended

Hummer flew into the sky

He flipped his middle feather

In a rude - but apt - goodbye.

 

The hummer reached the farm at dawn
(He'd had to fly all night.
A friendly sloth had given him
Directions to the site.)

 

He asked the farmer for a certain
special type of seed
The man demanded 50 Bucks!
(But hummer had a need.)

           

The hummer took his seed back north
(Hitching on an eagle.)
But they stopped him at the Border
Cuz they thought he was illegal.

 

They threw him in a dingy cell
(They wanted him to vanish!
In a country where English is the national tongue
A hummer should never speak Spanish.)

His lady love hummingbird bailed him out
(But to make a long story short
It took his driver's license, social security card
And long-form birth report.)

 

The hummers flew north, wing to wing
Into the Great Northwest
They found what looked a perfect spot
To give the seed its test.

 

They dug the ground to plant their seed

Then tamped it with their feet.

Brought water in their tiny beaks

(The whole thing's pretty neat!)

 

They built a home while waiting for their plant
To grow and bloom
And (knowing about the birds and bees)
They added nursery room.

 

The eggs came soon (not a surprise)

Then little beaks to fill

They watched the ground with interest

(Taking time to weed and till)

 

While chicks were growing in the nest
The seed was also growing
Through spring and summer into fall.
What is it? (There's no knowing.)

 

Some Interesting Asides:

 

[Baby birds mature quickly
So it wasn't very long
Before the boy was out performing,
Belting out Top 40 songs.

Sister Hummer got her schooling
At a place in northern Maine;
Planned to be a famous surgeon
Solving problems of the brain.]

 

Now, Back to the Story:

 

The seed produced a giant vine,
The vine produced a fruit.
The fruit grew large and very round
Its color orange, to boot.

The fruit went on to grow and grow
Its size became its fame
It seemed to dwarf the trees around.
And then the autumn came.

 

The great orange fruit survived (and thrived)
Through autumn's early chill
In November the orange globe
Was carted down the hill.


                                                        Now, everybody together!

"First, the frost is on the pumpkin
Then the pumpkin's in the pie.
And the pie is in the oven
And the oven's turned up high........"

 

Everyone enjoyed the pie

(So thankful it was baked!)

It went quite well with coffee,

And a special pumpkin cake.

 

Sad to say, they all got fat
From eating so much sweet.
Their stomachs bulged, they loosened belts
They couldn't see their feet!

 

So, diets followed after pie

(It happens every year.)

But tummy tucks aren't easy

For a lot of us, I fear.

 

(I need to stop a moment,

And explain this if I can:

The hummer gorging on the pie

Had turned into a man!)

 

A man who couldn't lose the weight
(He tried with all his might.)
He expanded like a toy balloon
And drifted out of sight.

 

He floated south to Mexico
But then a hurricane
Sent him on an eastward path
And took him clear to Spain.

 

In Spain, he crashed headlong

Into a lovely mountain peak.

He tumbled down the mountainside

(Which left him pretty weak.)

 

Tho' really none the worst for wear

It took him days to get to town

And by the time he got down there,

He'd lost some 20 pounds.

 

Now slim and svelte
He was the rage of every Spanish town
When asked to dance, a senorita

Couldn't turn him down.

 

But one sweet miss had more in mind

Than just a casual dance
She kidnapped him, and took him on

The road to Paris, France.

 

But once they got to Paris

He exclaimed "Enough's enough!"

He broke the chains of bondage

(Though he found them pretty tough).

 

Leaving  Paris in the dust
Into the Alps he went
(I forgot to mention that in town
He found a car to rent.)

In Chamonix he ate some lunch
And pondered what to do
He thought he'd climb a mountain -
But which of the local two?

The Matterhorn was straight ahead
Mont Blanc was on the right
He decided on the Matterhorn
(A choice I think was right).

 

He climbed and climbed the morning through

Then, stopped to have a snack.

To his surprise, he found he had

His hummer body back.

 

The mountain scaled, his luncheon gone

He'd lost his urge to roam

He knew without a doubt

That it was time to head for home.

 

Of course, in hummer shape again
He didn't have to take
The long trek back, cuz flying off
Was such a piece of cake.

He flew due west across the sea
But soon encountered rain
And then before he knew it -
Darn! Another hurricane.

 

He spun and spun 'til he was in 

The center of the storm.

But peace and quiet didn't last.

The 'cane regained its form.

 

Thrown roughly from the center

He tumbled down for miles,

And landed in a pile of leaves

Then sat and thought awhile.

 

The thoughts that he collected

Were not especially good
He was cold and wet and lost somewhere
Inside some unknown wood.

He had his cell phone so he called
And hoped someone had heard
(Pretty amazing when you think
He was a hummingbird.)

 

He missed his wife and kids so much

Tears filled his little eyes

And spoke aloud, "Alas, alas,"

And followed up with sighs.

 

Feeling sorry for himself

Didn't change the situation

To sit there made him feel the

Dumbest bird in all creation!

 

He wrapped his coat around him
(Do hummingbirds have coats?)
And flew into a little town
Where folks were casting votes.

No one on the ballot
Was a hummingbird, it seems
(A hummer being President
Was always in his dreams.)

He cast a write-in ballot
(Clearly voter fraud,
But the way of politics today
Nobody thought it odd.)

They didn't mind him voting
Tho it wasn't by the books
But they chased him out of town
Because they didn't like his looks.


He clearly wasn't one of them
With his little pointy beak
He couldn't be American
(Some evil foreign freak!)

 

With nowhere safe to rest his head

He flew into the night.

He reached the coast of Oregon

Just before daylight.

 

The big news was the vote results;

The Anti-Hummers won.

They'd be in power two more years,

And nothing could be done.

 

Well, Something could, the Hummer thought,

And gathered pad and pen

He wrote a manifesto

About hummingbirds and men.

 

His eloquence lit up the page

It solved the Nation's ills

But no one cared to read it,

Said it had too many frills.

 

By "frills," they meant the message

was entirely too long

They couldn't "tweet" or "twitter" it

So, clearly, it was wrong

 

His hummer plans to make things right

Would clearly never fly

His plans were good - no, heck, were great!

But no one cared to try.

 

To save his treatise vaunted

(Well, someday, it might be wanted)

He put it in a pumpkin shell

And there he kept it very well.

*********

Postscript: You may be worried about the rental car that the hummingbird left abandoned in the Swiss Alps. He had forgotten it for some months, but finally remembered, and called the rental company. They retrieved the car, but found it badly vandalized. Also, it had a large family of meadow voles living in it. The rental company billed the hummer for damages, but he refused to pay. There is a warrant out for him in Switzerland.


Second Postscript: In passing, the planned careers of the two young hummingbirds were mentioned. The boy hummingbird did fairly well with his first music album, but his agent stole most of the money. Then, his type of music went out of style. He couldn't make it in the new hip-hop crowd. Indigent, he was forced to seek sustenance at the bird feeders of well-to-do humans. He died alone, of sugar diabetes.

Sister hummingbird's plans to become a brain surgeon were thwarted. Although graduating at the top of her class, she found that no one would hire her. They claimed it was because of her inability to hold a scalpel, but she assumed it was hummingbird-discrimination. She filed a lawsuit, but lost. Sadly, with no way to make a living in the United States, she migrated to Mexico and became a drug mule for the Mexican Cartel. No one knows what became of her.


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 © Sanford Wilbur 2018