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A few wispy feathers......


Anjuli_Bai
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One of the most beautiful creatures who calls my garden home is the miraculous ruby throated hummingbird.

 

When one is so very small - a good offense makes a good defense and so it is not unusual if a nest is closeby, that the hummingbird parents will literally buzz through one's hair to make their anger known. When this happens to me, I quickly leave the area. Of course, I'm not physically afraid of such tiny birds, but I don't like to upset them.

 

It is not unusual when looking through my kitchen window to see a hummingbird or two busily collecting nectar from an arbor covered in purple-blue morning glories. They also relish the sweet drippings from a large bird of paradise plant.

 

But this morning as I set out for my walk, there at the edge of the grass was a bit of green with an unusual glisten to it and upon looking more closely I saw it was the body of a hummingbird - the sun shining on its irridescent feathers.

 

How it died, I don't know - I'm not sure who its enemies are. A living hummingbird is so seldom still - a dynamo of constant motion. But when it is still - one can see that this miracle of flight is made up of a few tiny wispy feathers, a slender beak no thicker than a sewing needle - feet so tiny as to be mere dots on the belly.

 

It has been warm here the last week and the water I set out for the birds is too deep for the hummingbird to use. I did see one once taking a bath in an upturned leaf of a rose bush in which an inch of moisture had collected from the overnight dew. It make the perfect bathtub for a hummingbird.

 

The little body - probably only an inch long sans feathers could easily blow away - or be stepped upon with the foot being none the wiser. So, we scooped it up and gave it a burial in the garden it called home - right near the morning glories. No, we didn't do anything silly like a funeral - but a burial is not amiss.

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Dear Anjuli - or Sheila, if I may be permitted on this occasion - in the 10 years or so that I have admired your writing, separated as we are by an ocean and a continent, may I say that this account surpasses all. "A burial is not amiss" - so much meaning in a simple phrase. Thank you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I never knew Anjuli had written a book. Branching out into other areas of the forum I am learning all sorts! May I ask what it is? I too have always admired your way of expressing things but didn't know there was a whole book to be found!

 

I wrote the book, "Reluctant Martyr," a number of years ago. It is a fictionalized biography (I didn't have access to every detail) of my aunt's rather ordinary/extraordinaty life. I really didn't have a choice as to whether to write it or not - the characters were in my soul and wouldn't let go of me until they were satisfied with the result. It was much like a door opening......the people lving once again through pen and paper.....and then they went back into the misty realm of the past. It was quite an experience.

 

The book was serialized online but that was a number of years ago and the host server has changed hands and identities several times and is not easily accessed - and then not in its entirety.

 

Almost everyone who has read the book has urged me to seek to have it pubished. However, the world of book publishing is a difficult one with many cranky turns in a long dim hall. Even if I were successful, I'm simply not attracted by the effort one must put forward to garner publicity, traipsing around, glad handing, and other sleep depriving mayhem. After years of dancing, teaching, performing, lecturing - I relish my stream of quiet evenings.

 

Were there an appropriate place for online serialization - I would consider it.

 

As for other writing ...that I have done a greal deal on a palette of subjects; some serious, some whimsical, and some just one old woman's opinion. Of dance, I have written quite extensively both online and hard copy.

 

You are very kind to ask, JCJC - and I thank you for your interest.

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