I came across a lovely fable about a hummingbird and a miracle on a friend’s Facebook page, and it resonated deeply with me. I love hummingbirds, so that alone made me love this fable, but more importantly, the message felt important and relevant to me.
The hummingbird appears in many stories of native peoples of the Americas. I was unable to find the true origin of the fable, but it may be the work of author Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, who tells the story in his book Flight of the Hummingbird (affiliate link.*)
I hope you enjoy the fable.
One day there was a big fire in the forest. All the animals fled in terror in all directions, because it was a very violent fire. Suddenly, the jaguar saw a hummingbird pass over his head, but in the opposite direction. The hummingbird flew towards the fire!
Whatever happened, he wouldn’t stop. Moments later, the jaguar saw him pass again, this time in the same direction as the jaguar was walking. He could observe this coming and going, until he decided to ask the bird about it, because it seemed very bizarre behavior.
“What are you doing, hummingbird?” he asked.
“I am going to the lake,” he answered, “I drink water with my beak and throw it on the fire to extinguish it.”
The jaguar laughed. “Are you crazy? Do you really think that you can put out that big fire on your own with your very small beak?”
“No,'” said the hummingbird, “‘I know I can’t. But the forest is my home. It feeds me, it shelters me and my family. I am very grateful for that. And I help the forest grow by pollinating its flowers. I am part of her and the forest is part of me. I know I can’t put out the fire, but I must do my part.”
At that moment, the forest spirits, who listened to the hummingbird, were moved by the bird and its devotion to the forest. And miraculously they sent a torrential downpour, which put an end to the great fire.
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