Two weeks ago my son and his friend found an injured hummingbird.
We gave it some sugar water and a few zinnias, and hoped for the best.
Its brothers and sisters rallied around it...humming dangerously close to my head as I leaned to check on our friend. They were calling back and forth to one another...and apparently the "elder" hummingbirds were bringing enough food to keep our friend alive. Whenever I would check, he was sitting there twittering, and then 2 or 3 hummingbirds would come flying amidst the zinnias, ready to feed, console or carry away their dear friend if they could.
Every few days I picked the best and brightest zinnias and lay them down below, thinking perhaps they would nourish and strengthen our friend. He seemed grateful as he darted his long tongue forward, and nuzzled the blossoms as he would his missing mama.
I knew there was little chance he would fly again. His little wings torn and disfigured. But I hoped. beyond hope. I begged Mother Nature to make an exception. Today I found our little friend. His tried little body laying amidst the spent zinnia blossoms. I cried. And cried. I cried for his fight and his strength and his desire to live. I cried for his beauty and anguish. I cried because sometimes it seems so unfair that we cannot fix what needs fixing.
I scooped the little body up with a pumpkin leaf and carried it gently to Maggie's garden. I dug a shallow grave with a Dora shovel, placing it beside our beloved 18 year old cat who died last May. I lay the best and brightest zinnia in the garden upon it, hoping to infuse a bit of life back into the lifeless body. I choked back the tears .....
I will plant zinnias here next year in honor of our little friend's fight, his strength, and his beauty.
He was loved.