It is often noted that males who get lost refuse to ask directions.
Not to weigh in on any feminist food fight or anything, I imagine that it’s because that pesky Y-chromosome doesn’t want to be caught red-handed not knowing where he’s going. Any male who has lost his way in life, even for a moment, might appear less a macho man. You can’t flex your muscles, after all, while asking directions from perfect strangers.
When we women get lost, we just look for the nearest shoe store and figure that it was meant to be.
So when a male hummingbird recently refused to leave after a hard freeze took the flowers, I was immediately alarmed. It was certainly lost and didn’t realize that it should be heading to the Southern Hemisphere for the winter.
As I chipped the ice in the feeder, the hummer waited patiently nearby. I could easily tell that it was a male because he had an identifying brilliant ruby coat, common to the Midwest. He was also belching and scratching himself. While he read Girly Bird Magazine, I quickly cooked his nectar to the requested medium rare.
I couldn’t help but develop a liking for the poor lost thing and gave daily email reports that, yes, it was still here. When snow flakes swirled around, however, I knew that it was in dire straits. I tried to furnish maps and calendars to the feeder each day, but to no avail.
So I finally announced to the work boss that I would be gone for a few days because I had to drive a vagrant hummingbird to Central America. He rolled his eyes, but was used to my hag-shenanigans. It seems that I had no vacation time left since the last stint when I needed the day to repair my knitting that one of my cats ruined.
My next ploy to save the map-less male hummer was to run out and buy a cage to hang in the kitchen with feeder inside. It would have a winter’s supply of Girly Bird Magazine and its own remote control for the Gaggle Network. Not only that, but this hummer’s winter digs would feature an easy-street life when it would send out the kitchen hag to make a living with an Audubon Society-approved home and veterinarian medical benefits.
But a friend reminded me that hummingbirds are such a protected bird in the environment that I would be in violation. The AS would promptly arrest me for depriving a bird from its natural environment.
I envisioned explaining to the AS that this hummer was a vagrant male and that it refused to ask directions. That would save me from being arrested, especially as they would ask me if it scratched, belched and watched Super Gaggle Sunday. The AS would then do a home search of my house to make sure that it was appropriate for a winter’s environment.
That should be no problem, since the hummingbirds during the summer season staked out my house as THE place to gather with an endless supply of sugar nectar. They elbowed each other and talked slick hummer slang about the hag’s house on the block with an occasional wine vintage and bar stools on the feeder reservoir.
“What’s on tap today?” one hummer flitted past another, “Sugar Chardonnay with a twist of ants. She doesn’t close at sundown and I hear that she serves during the winter, also. I’ll meet you there.”
And one imbiber still feeds. He’s the one who refuses to ask directions because he has it too good here.