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Sunday, May 6, 2012

To Kill a Hummin Bird

Cum uh listen to uh story bout a women named Nahna, a poh mountaineer barely kept her family fed.  Thin one day she was cookin up some food, nen burst from the oven came uh bubblin Cuy.   Guinea Pig that is….Cuenca tea.  Well, the first thang yer know ol Nahna’s uh freakin out!!  Kinfolk say Nahna, ya gotta git out har!!!    Said, Sur de America is the place yer oughta be, so she loaded up her truck (but it wasn’t a current model 2012 so she wasn’t allowed to import it) and she moved to Cuen kuh nee.   Eh Quee Door, that is.  No limousines.  No movie stars.

I met this lovely lil ol lady here in Cuenca. She’s the spitten image of ‘Granny’ of Beverly Hillbillies and she IS from Tennessee!!  Well, one day big-hearted Granny took in a young woman an her dahg ‘Bruttus ‘ uh-needin a home.    The young lady was also from the Sath…..North Carolina tuh be specific.  Things went well fer awhall but then Granny took to noticin some odd behavior of her roomie.   Now, we all know folks from the Sath tend to love their critters n-such and Granny wuz no ception….even though they sometimes ate their critters but only if they’d been previously smushed by a cahr….otherwise known as roadkill.  But, I dah gress. 

Ms Nahna….that’s her name…Nahna….has lotsa hummun birds in her yahd.  They flit about her yahd and chirp like they done did won the lottery.  But Ms Nahna’s roomie had a prahlem with all that thar ‘noise’ them hummin birds were-a-makkin (I think that’s one word, raht?).  Missy Nahna wazun happy with her roomies’ at tee tude to wards the hummun birds.  Well, to make a long story shert, there was a bit of a conflict tween Miss Nahna and her roomie after she discovered her dang roomie trahd to, well shall we say, tune the lahts out on them pretty lil hummin birds lahf.

Thiz is the stery Ms Nahna rote ‘bout her sperience.  I didn’t change one dang werd of it.

Mrianna came back to the same lovely garden at mating time every year.   It was not large, but had several tall old trees in which to build her nest and lots of flowers to give her nourishment. It had always been a comfortable safe place to raise her chicks.   Her mate, of course, left immediately after the mating ritual and left all the work to her, as was the way with hummingbirds.

The older lady who lived in the house spent a great deal of  time in the garden and Marianna felt secure and serene in her presence.  When Marianna made her mad dashes to the  brilliantly colored flowers she often heard " beautiful" or " amazing" almost whispered as the lady smiled and watched her flitting from plant to plant.   The lady  probably did not know that Marianna also scooped up a thousand or two insects and spiders during her short forays every day in order  to have protein for herself and to give to her chicks when they hatched.

Marianna sang her song of chirps happily and peacefully, and felt sure these chicks would live to carry on their family as had the others before them.

Then,  one day, a younger woman came to live at the house.  Marianna watched as this one  sat outside for long periods, too.....But this  one felt different somehow.   Though there were happy sounds coming from her at times, there was a sense of something dark and brooding as well.

Marianna always began her song of chirps at daybreak, as did all of her species.  Had the humans been familiar with bird language, they would have heard her say, " it is morning....I have rested through the night, and now must tell all that I have a nest in this tree, with tiny eggs that will hatch into beautiful hummingbirds.  Beware, they are yet young and I will protect them with my life if need be." Over  and over she chirped her song throughout the daylight hours, and was very tired by nightfall.

One morning early,  her song was interrupted by the banging of a long pole on her tree.   She paused her chirps  for a few minutes and wondered why the younger  human female would try to hurt the lovely old tree. Surely the tree had caused no harm.  She watched as the  woman  left the tree, moving her legs swiftly and slamming her feet hard onto the ground.   She felt a agitation and an  anger coming from the woman, and again paused her chirping song in sheer confusion, but began again, as it was the duty of female hummingbirds to send their message during the daylight hours.

Again on another morning, the tree was attacked brutally by the woman, this time with a long round hollow pole that caused a sound that frightened Marianna  and vibrated through the poor tree.  As before, she interrupted her song, and again she felt the anger, but this time it was accompanied by the words, " murder...kill...snap your neck.". She paused her chirping for a longer period this time, but her duty was clear and she resumed her song.

She became more careful in her feeding times and places, trying to avoid the younger human and the feeling that emanated from her.

For a few days, all was calm and comfortable  again as both the humans were away from the house for  a time, but when they returned, the angry words from the younger human woman were more vile than ever.  On one particularly  beautiful morning, as Marianna  chirped her song, a stone hit the tree...then another, but this one hit very close to her nest.   Fear gripped Marianna as she realized the harm was not meant for the tree, but  for HER!!  And her children!  Noooo!!  This cannot be!!   She had always been safe here...well, except for the time a cat  had come into the yard and thought he might have a small snack of Hummimgbird , but when Marianna had dived and taken a small, but painful chunk out of his ear,  he had run away never to be seen again.

But this....this was a human....bent on her death and the death of her children, all apparently because her chirps were annoying to the young woman. A great fear passed throughMarianna, but a great determination rose in her, as well.  She raised her voice and delivered her warning louder and faster, rising even earlier in the morning and chirping later after dark, although the energy she expended  was dangerous to her.

As time passed, the female human's  words became louder, more threatening and more frequent.   As Marianna sat on her nest one morning, a great stream of water came from the ground.  It flew from a long round tube with something on the end of it that propelled a strong stream  directly at her nest, and there was something in the water...slimy and sticky with white bubbles in it.   It stuck to the tree and the leaves, suffocating them, and made her feathers stick together for a while making flying impossible.   Fear surged through her!  Then a long stick with strings hanging from one end came flying into the tree. It stuck in the branches well above the top of the wall surrounding the property.   More terror!   If the woman would attack with weapons, what would she do next?

The following day passed without incident, but marianna could feel the tension building in both the humans.   It was like heavy black cloth blocking the light.  Something was coming.   The next day, near mid morning,  close to her tree, she heard soft but stern words," you need to leave my house...now.". The older woman had drawn a line, Marianna could tell.  There were a few other words after that, but the angry woman appeared in the yard after some time, possessions in tow.

Marianna flew to the bottlebrush tree in the front yard and watched as the angry female human  got into a car along with her belongings. She could feel the vile anger leaving and peace returning.  The older woman removed the long tube with the poison in it from beneath her tree and said soothing words as she looked up at Marianna.  In the world marianna and her ancestors had known, survival sometimes depended on simply staying out of harm's way.......building your nest above the reach of most predators and living one more day.

Early the next morning, Marianna flew again to the bottlebrush tree and looked down the street that had taken the younger woman away. On this day she chirped slower, but louder. Had the older lady been capable of understanding bird language, she would have heard Marianna  say into the wind, directed at the angry young woman who had tried to murder her.... "birds were here before humans.....we have survived  dangers you can not possibly imagine, and I am better at this game than you are, BITCH!".

Now, you’re prolly wunderin…..geez…now I’m talking like her!!!   You’re probably wondering why I published this story in my Ecuador blog….right?   It’s because there’s a moral to this story.

If little things bother you, git yer goat, or otherwise rattle yer nerves….then don’t come har!!!  South America, or at least Ecuador specifically, is not your answer the phone in 1.325 rings, or we open another teller window if more than 3 people are in line, or customer service is our #1 priority, or if you are the slightest bit inconvenienced you can sue the other person for at least 20 million dollars, or we cover our hair, eyebrows, lashes, arms, chin, and all parts of our body that MIGHT have a ¼ inch of hair on it if we are serving you hot dogs, or if you don’t have an I-Phone version 4.7392 or higher then I can’t interact with you, or ‘what?’ I can’t get a job unless I have an MBA even though I show the best, natural, aptitude, or ‘yes, I understand everything you are trying to say to me even though you don’t speak my native language, nor have you TRIED to speak my language, and you are a VISITOR here’.

Git a grip on yerself, take a dose-uh-reality pill and, maybe, just maybe, you might enjoy the simple way of life that exists here and yer blood pressure readin’s might jist make yer doctor dance a little doh-see-doh.

Thee End
Yes, that thar is the mop the roomie done did threw up into the tree in an effort to silence that dang hummin bird from all its racket!!!


  1. some things so not want to be spared/sa-ed it it the word

  2. Great post! You are one funny guy....LOL.....
    aka Tamster


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About Me

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Palma, Mallorca, Spain
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Spain, in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca in the middle of the Mediterranean sea!! I moved from the USA to Cuenca, Ecuador, South America and lived there for 7 years before moving here to Spain in early 2018. To read about my adventures in Ecuador, check out my other blog "Ahhh Cuenca!!". I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live in Europe....across the pond.

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