May 19, 2012

The Lily and the Hummingbird

“Why do you cry?” asked the white lily to the hummingbird. Her petals were immaculate ivory, pure snow, her anthers were overloaded with pollen like shiny beans of gold. Bees would play with her all day long and tickle her to laughter, she would reward them with the sweetest of nectars. “This pain is unbearable,” said the hummingbird sobbing. He was perched on a windowsill, gloomy. His feathers that once were, lapis lazuli, emerald, and jade, had suddenly turned the color of old dry moss. He was consumed by tedium, his heart ached, icicles hung down from his soul. “What happened sweet little bird?” said the lily full of compassion. “My love has withered, she's dead, and nothing could bring her back to life.”
The hummingbird cried for a morning glory that had perished to a viral infection. The remembrance of her crimson flowers with fuchsia stars and gleaming white throats made his heart throb with grief. Every morning the little bird would visit the morning glory, he hummed from flower to flower drinking the plant's nectar. Her nectar tasted like love and life, like the warm winds of summer, like a bright sun at noon and the tenderness of its beams of light upon his feathers. Her nectar tasted like peace, like the meaning to be alive, like the meaning to be in love, like happiness. The hummingbird would fly right after dawn to visit her beloved. And everyday at dusk he went to sleep with the memory of her flowers in mind and the anticipation of a new visit in the morrow.
The snow white lily understood the hummingbird's pain. “I can put you out of your misery,” she said, “I know a mystical spell passed down generations of flowering plants since the end of the cretaceous.”
“Can you... can you bring her back to life?” asked the hummingbird incredulous. “No,” answered the lily, “but I know where she is and I can take you there, if you want.”
“I do, I do!” The hummingbird felt a crumb of excitement, perhaps there was hope, perhaps not everything was lost. “What do I have to do?”
“It's very easy, you will come at midnight and you will drink of my nectar. I will do the rest.”
Exactly at midnight the hummingbird visited the lily. The night was clear and the stars shone weakly drowned by the city lights. A half moon spread its milky light and made the lily's petals appear silvery. The little bird had nothing to wait and hummed right in front of the flower, with his thin and long tongue he licked repeatedly the tip of the lily's stigma dripping with a yellowish liquid. The nectar was salty and bitter. Something was wrong, the bird suspected, but he kept licking the tip of the stigma as the drops of yellow nectar flowed. In a flash, the lily closed her ivory petals trapping the bird inside ever so tightly. The hummingbird flapped hard trying to release himself from the lily's powerful grasp, but he knew it was impossible. He started to suffocate while an extreme ardor burned his bowels, his lungs were collapsing as he struggled for air, the fire spread to his chest, then to his throat until he coughed blood. He coughed and coughed, throwing up at the same time an intense ruby blood. He knew then it was useless to fight, he understood now what the lily had meant with putting him out of his misery. Soon he will be reunited with his eternal love, his morning glory of crimson flowers. The bird died, yet the blood kept on flowing through his mouth soaking the lily's petal in that vital fluid. When the sun shone the next morning the lily released the corpse of the lovely little bird as she opened her long proud petals, now the color of love.

Inspired by Oscar Wilde's 'The Nightingale and the Rose'.

azucena roja


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