Zen’s Short Stories: Hummie and Wilber

Over the years we have had those ” Special Kids” around the Homestead.

First, of course, was… and IS Hummie; Patriarch of the Zen Mountain Hummingbird clan. Coming in to suck up to Ma; my better half, when we were trying to decide on the Idaho home or stay at Zen… Hummie, it seems, was convincing.

Next was Dumbear. Dumbear was truly the first of the ” WTH” kids. scampering about the North 40 and coming in while Ma and I were, literally, RIGHT there… He then freaked and hid, at the entry to the house…Um K….

As the years have gone by, there is always one special Child of the Wild that wants to be Number One on the; ” How the hell does he survive” list.

There was BBQ buck… Seriously, the dude came in while I was grilling venison burgers..as in; ran in like an arrow to the grill, licking his lips…Freak..

There was Stewie; One of Ma’s bucks. Hung so close to the house for the first few years I was always running into him.. literally. One eve, we were sitting in the covered porch, I had to walk down the steps for something, I forget now, only to have Stewie RIGHT there, inches away from me in the dark.

Hey Da. Whatcha looking for?”

I bout wet myself beings I didn’t see him till he whispered in my ear.

And move ahead, move ahead to those, if you read the posts, know well.

There is Quail Boy. He stayed through the winter, in his apartment in the junipers next to the Fly-N- Go. Digging his way out of the deep snow that winter. The flat areas were well over four feet and much higher areas that were above the roof line. He stayed with us until he found a new girlfriend that was not at all happy sharing a living space with a bunnie and with hawks and eagles over head all the time…

Of course, there is Bobcat Kitty who hangs very close to the house year round and always shows her new babies to Ma and I; parading them past the porch. Little fluffs of stuff bounding by us while she sits and watches them and us some feet away.

With Bobcat Kitty comes the truly Dennis worthy ; George. Her boy, who always gets into trouble.

Lass; Who decided to stay the winter but was too young to not be bullied by other older hummers when it was so cold and snowy out. She passed out from hunger. Fortunately, I was able to end up bringing her in where she hung out with me for the day then lived inside for nearly a week before she decided she was ready to go back out… She STILL follows me around when I am outside, or in the shop….and if she hears me in the Master bath talking to whatever I see out at the water, or to Ma, she’ll fly around to sit on the fence outside the window to chat.. and then meet me at the porch when I walk out.

No stories of special kids would be complete with out our one and only Dennis. Limpy’s boy that just isn’t quite right. A now, mature coyote of one of three packs here that are ALL at least half again the size of a normal coyote. From the get-go, Dennis showed himself to be the king of ” Alrighty Then” His first time hunting with Limpy as he showed him the ” Playground”; the area here at the house where ALL animals drop off their kids for Baby Sitting by Ma and I… and Dennis wandered off …In search of Mice.. To this day, When he comes through, he seems the magnet for “ WTH“.

Rhey; one of the younger females in Limpy’s pack has always been her own brand of ” special”. When she and Hummie get a wild hair at the same time, no one is safe from their pranks… She loves to sneak up under my window at night, around 3-4 am and sing…. Just to remind me she is still around.

There have been so many more kids that even I have a hard time keeping track.. Limpy himself and Mama, Red and Teary all of the same pack. Wraith , Rhey’s boyfriend.. probably mate this year. Stinkie; our large female skunk. Spike, the dang rattle snake that likes to scare the crap out of me.. and usually himself at the same time. and again, so many more.

Well, Turkey Girl; our long time stay at home Mom, had her new brood this year, and as always, she doesn’t leave the property. Many other turkeys stay fairly close, but she is nearly always in sight and sound. She has four babies this year, and the smallest; Wilber, seems to be in the running of the most Dennisy Moves for the season.

Wilber, meet Hummie

If you look closely, by Turkey Girl’s tail, you’ll see the patented ” Dennis Head plant move” by Wilber

I was working about the house on this and that when I hear one of the turkey kids right under my window of my office. Not wanting to be rude, I called out a ” Good Morning” and went about my way. Shortly, I heard the baby again, making a stink. My Turkey isn’t what it once was, and I didn’t get what the little one was saying. Soon , however, I heard Turkey Girl just outside the bedroom window, talking to Wilber.

Well. Just look what you have done now. Nothing I can do to help you. You’ll have to call for Da.”

I already did.” Piped in one of Wilber’s sisters. “ but I don’t think he understood me.”

You have to not talk as fast when you call to him. Da is a little slow… in the head.”

Hey ! I heard that.” I called out the bedroom window. “ Sup Turkey Girl?”

Hummie, being ever close by and ever so helpful plowed in” Wilber’s stuck. He shoved his head into the fence.”

You dared me to!” called out a half crying Wilber.

Well.. Yes, but just your head. I didn’t say squeeze all the way into Eden.” Hummie chittered.

I got stuck, I was just going to turn around. ……. and then I got lost and stuck.”

Turkey Girl rolled her eyes at her smallest and then to me, she shrugged. “ Can you help Da?”

Sure. I’ll be right out. Wilber……Wilber………Wilber!”


Don’t move.

You’re not my Mum.” He called out,, then preceded to run off into the gardens.

You sure you want him back?” I asked Turkey Girl.

Staring at me, I could see her thinking. She shook her head, clearing it..” No.. I mean.. Yes… No I can’t let him just stay in there…I mean.. I ccccooouuulllddd.. Then he’d be your problem. But, no, yes, better help him get out. I’ll go find him.”

K. On my way.” I said. Turning to the Linen cupboard , I grabbed a towel to keep him from getting all stupid when I got him.

I stepped out the door and sure enough, Turkey Girl was outside the fence talking with Wilber. His sisters off to the sides of her, helpfully sticking their tongues out at him and making faces. Pretending to throttle one another and pointing at him, then me, behind their mother’s back. All the while, Hummie sat on the fence making his own comments.

Wow. I’d hate to be you. When Da gets you, you are in sssssooooooo much troubles. He might decide to just leave you in there. Thanksgiving isn’t that far off.”

Wilber’s eyes popped. ….. and he ran into the briars.

Hey Hum!”

YYYyeeeeeeessssss?” Hummie called from the fence.

Sure appreciate the help and all.”

No prob.”

About that time, Lass flew in behind him and slapped the back of his head……Off the two flew.

Walking out into Eden, I called softly to Wilber,” It’s ok. just calm down so I can get you back to your mama.”

Screw you! I don’t want to be a Thanksgiving Turkey!”

I called over my shoulder, “ Thanks for that Hum!”

I walked back to the patio to wait for the little guy to calm.

Hummie and Lass flew back in. Lass having “explained ” to Hum that he was not helping. Hummie flew over to where Wilber was hiding.

I was kidding little dude. Da is trying to help. Come out already.”

Screw you too! Cannibal .”

Hummie looked at me and shrugged. “ Ok. He’s all yours. Did what I could. Not my monkey.”

I am NOT a monkey…What’s a monkey?” Wilber asked, poking his wee head out of the thorny mess.

Come out or don’t. I don’t care. Da will fill the pond and you can just live in here. OR you can come out and be with your mom.”

Wilber peeked out of his hidey hole to look first at Hum, then at me. “ Are you going to eat me?”

Not today.” I answered.

The little Dino kid glared at me.

I could see Turkey Girl watching from the Drive, looking down through Hummie Garden at me. She couldn’t see Wilber but she figured at least then he couldn’t see her either. She snorted and shook her head as she drug the rest of the kids off around the corner.

Are you ready?” I asked WIlber.

No… I mean, Yes… Um No..but Yes.”

” What the hell? You some Dennis apprentice or something?” Hummie called out from overhead.

Not helping Hum.” I called as Wilber shrunk back into the thorns again, muttering” I like Dennis”

Yes, yes. We ALL like Dennis.” Hummie called down, rolling his eyes. “ Now, if you would..??..” Making pushing motions with his wings.

Huginn and Muninn; our raven pair, , sitting in their nest, watched the entertainment while they shared a fresh batch of mouse tartare .

Muninn, leaning over whispered to Huginn,” I love this Sunday morning line up.”

Huginn nodded, as he ate while he was glued to the entertainment. “ This is my favorite Reality show.

Wilber poked his head out again, then ran for it…… and into the Zuke fence.

I sighed , tossed the towel over my arms to grab up the little dino kid; his head stuck, once again, in a fence.

Lifting him out, I talked quietly to him.” You’re fine. Mama is just out there. We’ll get you to her in just a moment.

Wilber calmed down, snuggled in the towel, in my arms and just watched where we were going.

Where did she go little one?”

” Around the corner. I heard her.” He peeped.

We turn the corner of the house and sure enough, there was Turkey Girl and the three sisters.

Mama! I go for a ride!” He called out. “ Let me down. I know the way now.”

I let him down and unwrapped him. He took off, wings above his head…then, somehow.. under his feet as he slid on his beak before standing back up, shaking himself. “ I’m good!” and off he ran again. Gangly legs all but going in full circles as he tried to race to his mama.

Thanks Da. Sorry for the troubles….” Turkey Girl called out, some five feet away from me, calm and trying not to laugh at her goofy kid.

No problem. Not our first Wild Child.”

I suppose he is entertaining at least.” Hummie said from above.

Helpful you are not.” I answered.

Yoda we are?” He called back.

I tossed the towel at him.

These are not the droids you are looking for!” he laughed as he flew off.

That wasn’t Yoda!” I threw back at him.

Lass flew in front of my face. “ Want me to go slap some sense into him? I mean, I don’t have a lot to do today, so I can pencil in a good slap down….. I may need a feeder refilled by the time I make a dent, but I’m good with that.”

I snorted. ” Naw.. No one has that kind of time.”

Turkey Girl had her kids about her while Wilber told his harrowing tale to his sisters who would pop a head up from time to time to watch and wave at me.

I laughed, shook my head and walked back to Hummie Garden to close things up before someone else got stuck in there. Lass following me the entire way chattering about How things were so dry, even in Eden.

I know Lass. I water best I can, but it is so dry and hot and windy. When it isn’t windy, the smoke comes in which is just as bad or worse. I Just hope everything lives through this.”

I know Da. But Hummie Garden is really pretty.”

Zero scaping is working very well in there… Makes me worry at times that there could be a leak or something.”

Nah.” She said” Just lots of green in a small area keeping things green.”

About that time, Turkey Girl and the kids were right outside Hummie Garden. I shook my finger at Wilber who ran between his mama’s feet to stick his tongue out at me.

I laughed and walked back into the house, Lass flying over the roof to wait on the other side.

Final Thoughts

We had several days of poor quality air here this week. A few days we couldn’t see anything past our fence line, including a complete lack of sun. Ever since my injury to my eyes, and to a certain extent, even worse since the surgeries, smoke just destroys me. The nonstop migraine jumps up several notches and trying to just open my eyes feels like getting sprayed with chemicals all over again.. It can be a wee bit annoying. So, as frustrating as the winds can be, at least they keep the smoke at bay. Winds came in Friday eve and finally, Saturday we had an hour or so of having the windows open again before the heat drove us to close them back up. Still rolling around air quality of 100, it isn’t great but beats the 167 it was… It sucks when it tastes like you are licking an ash tray when you walk outside.

Ma is working on socks a cap and sweater.. well and other stuff too of course, but these are foremost on her to do list. She is drum carding the wool before she spins it in a long drawn and on to plying, of course; all for the sweater. Sock wool was made into a four ply yarn, in short draw, and she is working on a new style of heel…Trying to come up with something that can handle my heel abuse. The cap is a moose cap for me…No.. not with wee antlers…stop it.. I see you giggling.. I am totally NOT wearing wee antlers….Hey! Stop laughing…….Ok.. we’ll all wait while you get under control………………….Better

I got all the parts for the old SG together now and I’ll get on that, probably this week. It will be nice to see what I got. She was all but destroyed when I found her laying on the floor in my folks’ house. It should all be fine once I am done and will be an old friend back from the dead. But.. again.. that is a story for another day.

The deer are still swarming through , enjoying the water and company. We are seeing less and less of the bigger bucks now, but the does and fawns are here even more often, along with the small bucks.. I am resonably sure that they have a tree out in the North 40 that has scrapes with tiny writing saying

Only huntable above this line”

Anyone under that line is still coming in to hang out.

Teary came through again the other day, passing under my window…..while I was trying to find where I had laid down the camera….Thank you very much.

The little Ham of a coyote, stood , waiting for me…until he got bored and padded off to the pit, then off to the north to go visit with Wraith’s pack.

We are still getting some tomatoes and peppers, a whole entire week of harvest… finally…….though nothing to brag about.

Ma is going to be blanching and pealing tomatoes to freeze in a bit along with Italian Peppers so, once again, I am going to cut this short.

Ma’s buddy; Jen of Whispering Pines Farm ; literally the finest of the fine Shetland wool we have found; QUITE literally in the World..and yes, we have not only looked but bought from many many many farms and mills.. Had been talking about making pizza.. Well, Ma being Ma, told her that I would hand off my recipe for pizza dough, which is dang good…and which then got Ma hungry for pizza..so I have dough rising at this moment…another reason I need to finish up here.

The smoke is quite tolerable now though my eyes would argue that, and the breezes are mostly that today. Temps are rising but shouldn’t hit the triple digits we have been having.. for a couple days anyway….

Ma’s in the kitchen and I am heading that way.

Turkey girl and kids are in the yard playing, deer are hanging about in the fields, at the water and mineral block.

The hummers are swarming around the porch, looking in as I have been in here and Ma has been knitting, wondering when we are coming back out to visit…

I have not one but two of our local lizard kids playing on my chair in the porch area …

Making today

just another day on Zen Mountain

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