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Let Me Tell You a Story

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A little humming bird named Ola, is drifting through the skies above the amazon forest. It is just her second day after she started learning how to fly. Her brother is her only mentor and teacher. Her brother is very much concerned about her safety as now it is the season for humming hunting and she is just twenty days old. But Ola is excited about her newly learned skill and she is nowhere stopping so she sneaked out of there and started to fly on her own. Everything was going well, until it started to drizzle. Ola is still a beginner in flying, with those few drops falling on her wings, she lost her control. She started to incline downwards. Rain started getting heavier and terror filled in Ola’s eyes as she started to swing her wings vigorously hoping to get her flight stabilised. She suddenly thought why her brother was so reluctant with her flying and as she was falling down she saw a man holding a gun pointing towards her.

She knew people hunt humming birds as it is in her first lesson, but she never saw a Hunter by herself. She stopped flipping her wings and closed her eyes. Suddenly her brother Rey, rushed towards her with a lightning speed and caught Ola in mid air uplifting her. Man fired a bullet with a blasting sound that echoed in the ears of Ola. Rey is well experienced on how to escape from a Hunter. The bullet passed within an inch form Rey and Ola. Rey caught Ola in between her legs and started to fly back to home in a sprinting fly which confuses a Hunter. As they reach their home, Ola is very frightened about the incident and she knows that she crossed her limits. She expected that her brother would give a lecture to her. When the tense in the air settled, Rey came to Ola and said, “let me tell you a story.

Alex and Emma are riding in their newly brought BMW. They are one of the happy couples in the community. They both work at the same place, they share everything with each other. Alex is a very possessive husband whereas Emma is a practical wife. Alex loves her in a way that he had no other world than her presence. Anything he dreamed of would be for her. Whereas Emma loves Alex too but she has her own world which includes her friends. They understand each other very well that their opposite ways of expressing love is not even an issue. But today, Emma couldn’t stop herself from praising her friend who shot a humming bird in a single shot. Alex listened to all of her words and he couldn’t bear it when the love of his life is praising someone else. He dropped her in their home and went straight to the store to lend a hunting rifle. As it is the season of humming hunting, hunting a humming bird with a single shot is a pride. Alex never had any interest nor practise in hunting, all he wanted is to kill a humming bird and be the hero in Emma’s world. 

Alex never used a rifle before still he wanted to hit a bird with a single shot. He took his vehicle straight to the end of the city from where the Amazon forest begins. He parked it outside and took his rifle out and went looking for hummingbirds just when the drizzle had started. This is the season when hummingbirds travel across the amazon to settle in the far end of the forest. They are the smallest birds in the world with a length of five to six centimeters making them difficult to hit with a bullet. So, killing a hummingbird with a bullet itself is an incredible task not to think about hitting in the first shot. Alex walked a few meters into the forest and decided to load his gun. When he checked the rifle a bullet was already loaded in it. When he looked up to  the sky for a bird, he luckily found a baby bird. Without a second thought he fired a bullet. He struggled to hold his gun after the shot. He realised he didn’t hit any bird and he had no clue where the bullet went, so he decided to load more bullets. As this is his first time holding a rifle, he struggled to load them. He tried for some time and got frustrated as his attempts were vain. He then heard a voice, ‘Do you need any help young man?’ Alex looked around to check the source and he found an old man sitting on the front porch of his wooden house. Alex said, ‘Ahh.. just trying to figure out how to fill this thing with bullets.’

‘It is an AR-15 rifle, isn’t it? I have loads of experience with it. Come here and have a drink.I’ll help.’

‘Thank you but I have to leave early. Can you help me with this first?’

‘Come on man. I know you are going for hummingbirds. Don’t you know this is not the time they come out? you have to wait for two more hours. Come and take a seat.’

Alex thought that he should wait anyway and went into the old man’s house. He helped to load his rifle and gave a basic guide on how to shoot. They had a drink and they started talking stuff. Alex said, ‘Why do you think hummingbirds travel to our side of the forest even though they know we are trying to kill them? do they even know?’ With a thoughtful face, the old man started to say, “let me tell you a story.

In the great forest of Amazon, there lived a hummingbird named Riya. She is strong to lead her group and fragile as well to take care of her eggs. She is one of the finest in the group to know how to fly and is a great teacher for younglings as well. Thousands of birds travel from their home place to the end of the forest during summer. Summer in amazon is a nightmare for animals and birds living there, because of the rate of forest fires occurring each summer. So it has been some years since they decided to move out of their home and take shelter at the end of the forest so that even if the forest catches fire, they can slip into the city and servive. While they are moving out, they divide into groups, each will be led by a leader. Riya is one of those who will be leading a group of 100 birds. There is still a month for the date of travel. Riya laid her eggs just a few days ago and she is very excited to see her children. But the time she laid her eggs is the toughest. She had to carry her newly born children all over the forest. That doesn’t matter to her any more for now, she wants to hear the squeaks of her children. That day night, she went to organize all the arrangements for the trip. All of a sudden she could smell the smoke.

She can hear the screams of birds and animals from a distance. She knew they were not prepared for it. She decided to act quickly, so she ordered everyone to move out of their houses with only basic needs and their eggs covered in a bag leaving all other things. She was there when her mother led this group to safety a year ago. Back then, fire was just mild and it was from only one side. Now she could see the fire running like a bullet from all the sides blazing. With the site of the dark yellow monster running through their homes, she recalled what her mother told her a year ago, “Riya, let me tell you a story.

Once a man named Peter Jaston who lived nearby the Amazon forest. He works for a firm which cuts down trees for wood and paper. His job is to export the woods from forest to the factory. For him, forest is just a place to earn money and he is very frustrated about the shifts. His wife always doubted him, his children never respected him and he is considered as an insane in the neighborhood. He had a very tough childhood with his parents and he never found peace in his life. He always wanted to get rid of the mess and chaos around him, but he is finding himself deeper inside of it. On one day he ran more than ten shifts of loading and reloading and took a rest under a tree in the forest just a few feet from the onloading place with a cigarette in his mouth. He got a call from his wife and she said, ‘why are you so late?’

‘I am having too many shifts today. Most of the trees are dry and this is a good time for the company.’

‘Peter, are you really working?’

‘What do you think I will do other than work?’

‘Who knows with whom you are sleeping.’

‘God! Please honey, I am stressed with work and don’t start this mess again.’

‘Am I a mess for you? tell me with whom you are making out?’

With a sigh of frustration he took a deep smoke from the ciger and when he was about to answer, he got a call from his manager.

‘Honey, I have to answer my manager. Bye’

‘I know who your manager is. It is Daisey right?’

He threw his ciger to the ground and answered the call. It was the call for another shift, he had to load the woods into his truck. It took a few minutes for him to load and suddenly he felt the heat. When he looked around. He saw a fire running through the place where he had just sat. It took him no time to realise that his cigar caused the fire. He has no water to stop it. He called 911 and moved to a safer place. He can see trees burning, animals and birds rushing out of the forest to save themselves. It took some time for the fire department to arrive and by that time, the situation was out of hands. While he was watching, the fire department team carried hundreds of animals to the hospital. He just realised how a single careless act could cost thousands of lives of birds and animals.That day, that sight made him quit his job and family. He decided to stay out of the city and built a house for himself in the forest.

So Riya, when your time arrives to lead the group, be attentive all the time. We cannot expect the fire. There are thousands of such stories and reasons to start a fire in the forest. Take care of the group after me. Every life matters.”

Riya now wondered who might have left the ciger to burn their home land. She asked everyone in the group to gather with their eggs in their bags. Fire was raging from all over taking some lives already and they had no time at all. Riya kept her four eggs into a bag to keep them safe from the fire. They all gathered at one place and decided to start flying. When they came just above their homes, the sight gave a chill in their spine. It was all a black out. Everything is fire within their eyesight. Every mother caught her bag of eggs with her legs and started to move out of the fire. When they came a good distance, a young bird couldn’t handle the strong wind filled with smoke, and was dropping to the ground. Riya looked at the bird and went down with her. He fell on a tree which was half burned and went unconscious. No one else came looking for the bird as his mother died in the fire recently. Riya recalled her mother’s words and decided to save the bird.

Everyone else was ahead of her and she had no one to hold her bag. She couldn’t think of anything at that time seeing a bird struggling among the fires. So she went down with her bag of eggs and she took out one of her feet and got a good hold of the bird, while she was holding the bag with other feet. When she tried to lift herself from the tree she realised it is very hard to carry the weight. She is swinging her wings hard to take off, but she couldn’t. Now, the tree is almost burning. She took a deep breath of smoke in and gave all her energy to lift up. She is finally in the air with the bird and her bag. She is flipping her wings hard to carry both of them. Then, she realised that her bag of eggs and one part of her wing are on fire. 

She can sense that within no time her bag would burn out. She prayed for a rain to clear the fire but all she got was a tear dropping from her eyes. She came down to one of the safe places which will burn out soon. She dropped her bag and held one egg with her feet. She watched her three eggs for one last time and took off with one feet holding her egg and the other holding a baby bird.Her wing was badly injured to fly, but her will was strong enough to save what she was carrying. She flew a good distance and she knew her time was running out. She saw a river ahead and felt a sigh of relief. As she was about to reach the other end of the river, she could feel the dizziness in her eyes and difficulty in breathing. She is dropping to the ground. With her last seconds of life, she managed to drop on the other side of the river while hitting the ground first and letting her egg and bird fall on her top so that the egg won’t break. She saw her egg safely landing on the ground and with a smile on her face, she left her last breath.

So Alex, this is not just a story of a bird. There are thousands of such stories. Because of the fire in the forests all these hummingbirds travel here. So do you still think it is an issue of pride to kill a hummingbird?”

Alex was shocked with the story and he felt very bad for trying to kill a bird. He always used to read the headlines about forest fires and dismiss them just like that. Now he realised how every life is precious. He said, ‘No, absolutely I feel regret for coming down here to kill a bird just to show off.’

‘Thank god. You got my point.’

‘By the way, what is your name.’

‘I am glad you asked that question. My name is Peter Jaston.’

Listen carefully Ola, this is not your home. We are here as a refuge. This is not a safe place to roam around while there are many people still thinking of killing a bird as a pride. Luckily Alex is a beginner so you are safe here. So, never ever go out without me.”

After listening to the story her brother just said, Ola cannot think of the pure heart of Riya and she suddenly wanted to know if her egg hatched or not. She asked her brother, ‘did her egg survive?’

‘Yes of course. It grew up as an enthusiastic girl and it is you Ola. You are the daughter of Riya and I am the bird for whom your mother sacrificed her three other children. Because of your mother’s sacrifice,I am living today.’

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