Hummingbird and the snake charmer

By Charles Korner

Hummingbird and the Snake Charmer

Once upon a time, in a deep, dark jungle. There lived many amazing animals. Like colorful parrot, glittering snake, and spotted leopard. But the most beautiful of all the animals was Hummingbird. She was made of so many colors legend had it, if you looked directly at her you'd be blinded. Unfortunately, this made all of the other animals jealous of her, and they wished to get rid of her for good. However she was always too fast to come to any harm.

But there was one man who wanted to capture her more than anyone else. He was a young snake charmer who was so ugly, his mother had thrown him into the jungle as a baby. However, little had she known he would grow up to be a wonderful sorcerer. Every day, all sorts of animals would watch him perform magic. He would make fruit disappear and fly on his magic carpet, but his greatest trick was to charm a snake with his music and make it follow his every command. The snake charmer was always proud of his tricks, but then Hummingbird would fly by and he would be reminded of how ugly he was.

One day, the snake charmer hatched a plan: he would capture the hummingbird, and never have to see her again. So he began to play on his flute. As Hummingbird was flying by, she heard the noise and came to watch. He played and played but she did not come any closer because she knew the man had a bad temper.

Suddenly, the charmer stopped playing and said slyly, "you don't need to fear me, every animal knows you are the greatest in the jungle." Surprised by the flattery, Hummingbird hopped closer. "Your feathers are more colorful than the flowers in spring!" he exclaimed. Hummingbird hopped closer.

"My feathers are rather pretty," she thought. Carefully the snake charmer flattered her more and more, while Hummingbird hopped closer and closer. Finally with one last hop she was on his arm. Quick as a flash he grabbed her and threw her into his basket with Cobra! Pleased with his work, the snake charmer walked away to find dinner.

Meanwhile inside the basket, Cobra was about to have Hummingbird for lunch.

"Wait! You don't want to eat me," screamed Hummingbird.

"Why not?" asked Cobra, "snakes eat hummingbirds."

"Because you'd be doing exactly what the snake charmer wants!" Hummingbird exclaimed.

"Hmm. I do despise that man and his magic music, but the thought of just letting you go infuriates me," Cobra said.

Hummingbird thought quick, "I'll polish all your scales until you can see your reflection." Cobra considered everything.

"All right I agree," he finally said.

Hummingbird polished all Cobra's scales all night and when she was done they shone like a mirror.

Laughing, Cobra turned on Hummingbird, "and now as a reward, I'll EAT you." But Hummingbird had timed her ending right. Just then the snake charmer opened up the basket for his show, assuming Hummingbird was already eaten, and began to play. Cobra slowly rose out of the basket swaying and transfixed. Then the snake charmer saw his ugly reflection in the scales and just for a moment faltered. He quickly tried to pick up his place on the flute but misjudged and ended up playing an eardrum piercing high C. Immediately Cobra snapped awake and struck the snake charmer with his poison bite. Like lightning, Hummingbird was out of the basket and away flying free. Cobra realized his mistake too late. His lunch was far away, and Hummingbird never took her beauty for granted again.