Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Hummingbird Wars

Many years ago, the hummingbirds in my neighborhood, as they often do, were fighting a brutal war.

But the hummingbirds in my backyard concocted the top secret Manhattan Beach Project in which hummingbirds learned to light firecrackers and then drop them on their victims.

This horrific weapon was the worst any hummingbirds had ever created.

But it was argued this weapon of mass destruction would end the war with my neighbor's hummingbirds with less loss of life then without this terrible weapon.

"Bomb 'em," shouted Give 'Em Hell, the then president of the hummingbirds in my backyard, and soon the firecracker bombs from Hell exploded.

One side of my neighbor's backyard was set ablaze by the firecrackers, killing everything in sight.

When the enemy hummingbirds didn't immediately surrender, "Bomb 'em again" shouted the president, and soon another part of my neighbor's backyard was ablaze, as my neighbor Sid ran around with his garden hose putting out the fires.

Sid's backyard hummingbirds surrendered.

But soon firecracker technology spread throughout my block, and in several yards, the hummingbirds began building stockpiles of firecrackers.

The biggest pile of firecrackers was stored in my backyard as the hummingbird military leader known as Bull proclaimed, "Peace through strength."

"But Bull," I said, "How can it bring peace or strength when hummingbirds in every yard are in the process of getting them?"

"Peace through strength," he hollered at me, as if repeating his claim gave it validity. "Don't make me say it again," Bull added sternly. "We all know it's a fact."

"Speaking of facts," I replied. "Your "Strategic Hummingbird Command" around the clock sends hummingbirds armed with firecrackers to fly over my neighbors' yards, and on several occasions they nearly dropped those bombs.

"How does that keep anybody safe?"

"Peace through strength," Bull screamed at the top of his lungs.

"Another thing Bull," I said.

"Each summer it gets so hot here, that some of your stockpiled firecrackers nearly explode. They're also leaking toxic powder into the soil, killing my lawn."

"You want to be safe or not," Bull growled. "That's the price of freedom."

"What do all these firecrackers have to do with freedom," I asked.

But Bull didn't answer me, he was too busy directing the storage of new firecrackers and ordering more.

"Who pays for all these firecrackers," I asked, but that too fell on deaf ears.

Finally I'd had enough and I got in Bull's face.

"You hummingbirds are always fighting wars," I said. "It is only a matter of time until you drop more bombs on each other, killing every creature in every yard in the neighborhood, and burning down all the trees, flowers and lawns."

"That's what I'm trying to protect you from," said Bull. "But you're gonna have to trust us. It's all top secret, national security."

Bull then flew off and I sat down on an old oak bench next to my wishing well.

"It is my wish," I said as I dropped a shiny new copper penny into the well with a tiny splash, "That hummingbirds gain their sanity and learn to live lovingly and peacefully with each other."

For hummingbirds are intelligent and it would take an act of incredible madness for them to destroy every living creature in the neighborhood.

As I watched the penny settle softly among the goldfish and felt the sun's warmth, I began to feel a sense of hope that my wish would be answered.


Thank you to my wife Anne for suggesting this title.

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