Everyone here knows the hummingbirds, right?
Aren’t they beautiful?
The way they fly, this way and that -
and flash their bright colors
just bouncing off the sunlight.
Don’t you love them?
Well I do too!
But once upon a time,
hummingbirds were just like lots of other birds.
They flew the same way,
they pecked for food on the ground the same way,
and they didn’t have their painted feathers.
They all had plain feathers
so they could hide better in the forest.
Most of the hummingbirds were very happy,
but a young one came along
who was always looking for something new to do.
Little Hummingbird walked, and flew, and hopped all over the mountains
looking for adventure and excitement.
He went farther than any hummingbird ever went before.
And you know what happened?
one day as he was roaming the mountains,
he found something fantastic!
There among the rocks and boulders
was the most beautiful patch of colored earth he’d ever seen.
Some of the earth was bright red!
Some of it was blue as the sky!
Some of it was green as the freshest grass!
Some of it was gold as the sun!
And all the colors sparkled like gems.
The Little Hummingbird flew down to the magic colored earth,
and he picked up tiny little pieces
with his tiny little beak,
and began to paint his feathers with it.
When he was done,
he flew back home to show
all his hummingbird brothers and sisters his new colors.
All the other hummingbirds thought his feathers were very beautiful.
They were all a little envious too.
They all wanted bright beautiful feathers just like their little brother.
Little Hummingbird was proud,
and wouldn’t tell anyone how he got his new colors.
he was just bursting to boast about his discovery,
so finally he told his best friend about the magical place of colored earth.
He told his friend not to tell anybody else,
it would be their secret.
So the next day, Little Hummingbird and his best friend
went to the place of magic colored earth,
and before you know it
his best friend had a new coat of bright feathers too!
When they flew back home,
all the other hummingbirds
begged to know how to paint their feathers too.
Well you know,
Best Friend was also bursting to tell his secret
to somebody else.
And so he told his sister all about the magic earth.
Well, things went on like this for a while,
and before too long all the hummingbirds
knew about the magic colored earth,
and they all flew there
and painted themselves silly,
each one trying to look more beautiful that the others.
Pretty soon the hummingbirds started to fight with each other
so they could get painted too,
before all the magic colored earth ran out.
And that’s exactly what happened -
all the colored earth was used up,
and disappeared forever.
The Earth was very angry at the hummingbirds
for being so proud and selfish and using up all the magic colors.
So the Earth said,
“from now on, hummingbirds,
I will never allow you to land on the earth again.
That is your punishment, and it is enough.”
“But I will not let you starve.
I will give you the fastest wings among all the birds,
so you can hover in the air
and live on the nectar of the flowers.
This is how you will live from now on.”
And to this day -
if you watch the hummingbirds,
you will see them flying faster than the blink of an eye,
and hovering in the air among the flowers,
you will even see them still arguing about
who has the prettiest feathers.
But you will never see one land on the ground.