Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Hummingbird King

Once in recent memory a beautiful ruby throated hummingbird was sipping at a feeder lovingly brimmed with sugar and water. The hummingbird fancied itself the most content of the hummingbirds and decided in the month of May that he should crown himself King of the Happy Creatures. His kingdom included the happiest subjects through out the world.

The Hummingbird King’s first act as his majesty entailed an investigation of the kingdom. In this undertaking, the Hummingbird King found that he was the most popular ruler that ever lived.

First he flew over two lovers playing Scrabble on their front porch. He saw them lean over the game and kiss. His subjects were happy.

Then he flew a ways and came upon a young man named Jason who was hiking a part of the Appalachian Mountains. He was singing to amuse himself and also to give God some relief from the weariness ensnaring the era. His song began:

“Weeelll, a Scotsman clad in kilt,
left the bar one evening fair.
And one could tell by how he walked,
that he’d drunk more than his share…”

His majesty continued his triumphant flight through time zones immeasurable until he came upon a morning dawning. The place in which he stopped was rife the vines bloomed. He flittered by one of the flowers for a scent of his kingdom and found the flower resting with petals closed.

At this he sighed. As he made to fly away and his shadow exposed the flower to the fresh welcome sun, it opened! A moth with fuzzy antennae flapped its rested wings anew. As the moth glided away, free from the flower prison, the Hummingbird King called:

“Rest easy my Subject! Your king has freed you!”

But the moth was long gone and even the most sensitive hairs on his antennae didn’t detect the vibrations of the king.

The Hummingbird King flew into a cave and saw downtrodden naked albino fish. He pooped in their cave water and said:

“Feast upon my subject, my subjects!”

And didn’t stick around to see if his joke or the feast brought them into his kingdom. He felt certain that they acquiesced one way or another.

The King flew until the land ended at the foot of an ocean vaster by far than any single thing he had ever seen. He listened to the waves roar and tear into the beach. He tried to detect a hint of emotion which he could call upon. But the ocean spoke only in circles and cycles and life and death.

The king fluttered fore and aft against the sea wind in consternation. Finally he flew into the opening of a bottlebrush bloom, his beak and tongue sipped at the nectar.


He decided that his subjects were locked on strings of far islands all wishing for a visit from his majesty.

The king ate three depressed mosquitoes and set out in flight across the ocean. He flew as strongly as his heart would pound. Slowly the licking waves salted him more and more as his path dipped toward the ever changing surface.

He looked into the vast blue for sign of his subjects and saw only a
jellyfish. Devoid of emotion, the jellyfish seemed to have no allegiances nor alliances. It lived only within the ocean. Flowing with the tide, against the tide.

The Hummingbird King flew on with all his heart before a cresting wave devoured him.

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