Hummer the Hummingbird

by William Sawyers

Hummer the Hummingbird

Once upon a time, there was a hummingbird named Hummer. On one fine day in June, a hummingbird flew into Room 14 at Gregory Gardens Elementary School. The students and the teacher got very excited to see a hummingbird fly around in their classroom. The Teacher opened the windows so it could fly out at recess time.

Fifteen minutes passed, and the students returned to their room. The teacher called the office to ring the custodian, whose name was Bill - me. I reported to see what was wrong. The secretary, Karen, reported that there was a bird in Room 14 and asked me to please check it out.

I saw a small hummingbird racing back and forth across the room. The kids were getting extremely excited. By the time I got there, the bird was very tired out. Its long, slender beak was open, and it was noticeably breathing very fast. It made a neat humming sound as it passed overhead from window to window. I decided to call this bird "Hummer the Hummingbird". I tossed a dry wash cloth at him for about thirty minutes to try to get him to go out the window, and he became more and more tired - so tired that he was no longer able to function right. Hummer started dropping down the three windows to the windowsills. He then landed on a wire going across the windows that held up the students' pictures. I reached behind him very slowly and grabbed him.

I took him to my office and gave him water with an eyedropper. Then I put him in a coffee can lined with cotton balls so that he could rest and gather enough strength to fly home again. About thirty minutes later, just as the next recess began, I took Hummer out of the can. He looked much better - he now moved his head from side to side very quickly. He was very nervous and alert, but he knew I wasn't going to hurt him.

I knew it was a boy by his beautiful green head. Girl hummingbirds have a brown head. His body was a dull white underneath and a blackish green down his back all the way to his tail.

I proceeded to walk him to the blacktop area in back of the school. Some students walked up to me and asked me what I had cupped in my hand. I replied in a whisper - "A hummingbird."

Then they asked me, "How did you catch it?" I told them that I found him in a classroom.

"What are you going to do with it?" They asked excitedly. The kids grew even more excited, and all started talking at once.

I told them that I was setting Hummer the Hummingbird free to go back to his family. One of the students from Room 14 asked why I named him Hummer. I said I named him Hummer because he makes a neat humming sound when he flies-that's how he got his name. I continued walking, now at a faster pace.

As I kept walking, kids were telling their friends, "Bill has a hummingbird! He's going to let it fly home!" So a lot of students followed me to the blacktop area behind the school.

A 1st-grader asked me, "Can I pet it?"

I said that was fine, and held it in my left hand, carefully letting his head out between my thumb and forefinger. I petted it first, and then she did. The five others got to pet him too. Then I took five steps forward - putting Hummer in both hands - and kneeled down and lowered my hands and raised them up high to set Hummer free. He took off up into the sky so fast! I was amazing to hear those little wings hum so much.

One student asked, "Where is he going?"

I replied, "He's going home to his family." And up, up, up he went, disappearing into the blue sky.

As I was walking back to my office, a lot of kids were talking about it, saying, "Bill just released a hummingbird he caught in Room 14." It's great being a custodian at an elementary school.

I just wonder where Hummer lives and how big a family he has. Birds are beautiful creatures. It's special when I get to help them by catching and releasing them. I've released six sparrows that were stuck in classrooms, one dove, and a swallowtail.

Now I've added a hummingbird to that list. This is a true story.

The End

To this day, no birds had hurt themselves or others, and I use a net instead of my hands for their safety. I've added another humming bird to my list. And I don't let children pet any more, as not to put the birds in harm. This was my first bird story.

By william sawyers

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