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Native Indian Lore
Bob and the Hummingbird


Bob and the Hummingbird

Robert Rucker, a member of the Milam Family of Cherokees, enjoys feeding the wildlife in his back yard. Numerous species visit the large feeders he keeps filled for both birds and squirrels. Bob told this story of his encounter with a tiny hummingbird.

One day Bob stepped onto his covered porch and noticed a hummingbird caught in a thick cobweb near the roof. Very carefully he pulled the little creature free and held it in his hand. He saw that the bird was weak and had probably been caught in the web all night. He held it close to the hummingbird feeder while it drank its fill.

Bob could see that the bird was still struggling with sticky webs caught in its wings. He brushed the strands away, opening his palm out flat so that the bird could fly. Bob watched as the hummingbird rose slightly, hovering just above his palm. Its wings were beating so quickly they were invisible. Then it landed back on his hand. It tested its wings in this manner a couple more times.

Then a wonderful thing happened. The hummingbird used its long beak to pull out a feather from beneath its wing. This the bird laid in Bob’s hand. According to Cherokee traditionalist Pat Moss, that is how you get a hummingbird feather…it has to be given to you.

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