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  • Photo by lyrandian

    “Watch out!” shouted Marcela as she pointed downward towards the ground.

    A pair of itsy bitsy eyes peeked out from a pile of leaves. I had to break my stride to keep from stepping on it. Once I regained my balance, my mind quizzed, “What in the heck could possibly possess such a tiny head and tiny eyes?”

    Before I could make sense of the entire moment, Marcela shouted again, “Quick, pick it up!!! A dog is coming!”

    So I hurriedly bent down and swept my hand into the pile of leaves. It happened so quickly, I didn’t have a chance to be afraid of what I might be picking up. To our surprise, an emerald, red chested hummingbird emerged from under the pile of leaves onto my cradled hands. We looked at each other for a soundless split second, then the murmur of the Griffith park audience composed of joggers, dog walkers and miscellaneous park enthusiasts began to surround us. All were curious about the little bird.

    I began to feel a buzz on my hand but the hummingbird wasn’t flapping its wings. I just stared at the bird, then at Marcela, then at the crowd and I shook my head in disbelief. I was accustomed to only catching glances of these fast fluttering birds and here one stood in my hands-innocent, defenseless and beautiful.

    We asked if anyone knew of a bird rescue. One jogger advised us to call a vet in Laurel Hills, another recommended the shelter. We ended up flipping the yellow pages and found ourselves driving to the other side of Los Angeles to a woman who called herself, The Hummingbird Lady. I sat still on our drive trying not to scare it. I felt a panic, an urgency to save this hummingbird. The hummingbird licked my hands in search of nectar that simultaneously comforted me. When we arrived, the Hummingbird Lady explained that the bird was a female and was too young to have babies. That was good news. We donated twenty dollars to the rescue and left our hummingbird with her.

    It was hard times in Los Angeles: the jumpers, the homeless fighting for a corner, dead dogs on city streets, the gangs, young runaways turned prostitutes, so much pollution... it seemed like nobody cared about anyone or anything.

    Marcela and I named the hummingbird Emily. And somehow it felt like we were clean again..
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