How the Hummingbird came into the World

July 11, 2022
Hummingbirds

Computers, numbers, charts, clocks, Facebook, time frames, life work balance, personal goal achievement and I don't know what - sometimes I get tired of it. Sometimes modern civilisation is too much for me. Sometimes I feel the need to pack my bags and go somewhere as far away as possible. And if I can't leave the house, then I just take a holiday in my head.Why don't you come with me? Let's go on a little journey. Discover with us the "old new world" - the old Latin America. Under this heading, little stories will appear here in the future. Stories as told by the indigenous people of Central and South America before we Europeans arrived. Stories from a world of legends, gods and mythical places. One of these legends, for example, describes how the hummingbird came into the world.

The Mayans say that all things on earth were created by the gods from clay and corn. In the process, they assigned a task to every animal, every tree and every stone. When all the clay and all the maize had been used up, it occurred to them that they had forgotten something crucial. The people who populated the world possessed not only the need for shelter and food. They also had desires and longings that they liked to share with each other. But the gods had arranged it so that people often lived far away from each other and therefore could not share these wishes and desires with each other.Since they had no more clay or corn, however, they could not produce an animal that could take over this task. They therefore took a jade stone and carved a very small arrow out of it. When it was finished, they blew on it. The little arrow came to life and immediately flew away. They called the tiny thing "x ts'unu'um"; the hummingbird. Its feathers were so light and fragile that the hummingbird could approach the most delicate flowers without moving a single petal. Its feathers shone like raindrops in the sun and shimmered in all colours. The gods were very pleased with what they had created.Of course, this little bird quickly caught the attention of the humans.

They were fascinated by the speed of the little bird, its elegant flight and truly taken with its colourful plumage. They naturally tried to catch this beautiful bird, cage it and adorn themselves with its shimmering feathers. So the people chased the little bird, reached for it, but couldn't quite get hold of it. It was too nimble and fast. Which was fortunate, because the too-quick grip of a human hand would have broken the little thing immediately. But it was only a matter of time before one of the humans managed to grab the little hummingbird. When the gods saw the wild chase, they became angry. They interrupted the mad chase and explained to the humans what it was that the humans were planning to catch - which was the little bird's job.

It would be the one that would carry the thoughts of the people and their desires from here to there. So when the people saw a hummingbird, the gods said, the observer would know that someone far away was thinking about him. The people understood this and realised that certain things should not be caught and certainly did not belong locked up. The little bird was far too valuable to belong to just one person. They therefore no longer dared to catch and cage the small, colourful bird.Or have you ever seen a hummingbird in a cage?

Robert Petzold

Everything before the first coffee in the morning is self-defense.

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