The Hummingbird and The King of Gems

The Hummingbird and The King of Gems is a short story by Christopher Rudolph that explains how the Hummingbird got its ruby colored throat.

     One day long ago the King of Gems saw a brilliant, tiny, precision-flying creature glittering like a jewel in the Sun. He was very much impressed at how it could stop instantly, hover, and adjust its position up, down, or backwards with exquisite control.

     Calling up to the bird he asked “What kind of bird are you tiny one?”

     Hummingbird replied, “I am a Hummingbird.”     

      The King said, “You are the best flyer that I have ever seen. Can you fly to the Sun?”

      Hummingbird said, “Yes, I most certainly can.”

      The King asked, “Could you please fly up to the Sun and fetch me some fire?” For the Kingdom was extremely cold and it had been winter for thousands of years.

      Hummingbird said, “I can do that for you, but it will take a long time for me to return.”

      The King said, “Well start right away then. For it is so cold, and we need some fire to warm us down here.” So, the Hummingbird flew to the Sun.

      Many years later the Hummingbird returned, and brought the fire to the King. The King was so happy, and soon the Kingdom was warmer and everybody was so much more comfortable. But one day a fierce storm swept through the Kingdom. It rained for days and days, and the flames of the fire were put out. Soon the Kingdom became very cold again and it was unbearable.

     The King called to the Hummingbird. “Oh, Hummingbird could you please fly back to the Sun to get more fire?” The Hummingbird agreed and off he flew.

     Many years later the Hummingbird returned with the fire. The King said, “Oh Hummingbird, last time you brought the fire, and it warmed us, but when it went out it was a very sad day, and everybody has been suffering in the cold all this time. This time you are to put the fire in my magical gem.

     The Hummingbird put the fire into the gem. The Hummingbird then said, “Why this is the most magnificent gem I have ever seen. What is it called?”

    The King of Gems said, “It is called a Ruby. You are to tend to the fire within this gem, and make sure it never goes out.  As long as the fire burns in the gem, our Kingdom will be warm. In order to carry out your duties, you will wear some fire tucked under your chin, and these flames will lick your throat painting your feathers a bright ruby color. You will hence forth be known as the Ruby Throated Hummingbird.” And thus it was so.

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Go to Evasion 101 – A Short Story About Hawks

Go to more Shorts Stories by Christopher Rudolph

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