Hamida Humming-bird is one of the best hummers in her clan. Unlike other female humming-birds, she was hatched small and she learnt to fly with quick and agile movements much like the male hummingbirds. When she was young, the other girl-hummingbirds in her class used to tease her for being small and fast like the boy-hummingbirds. Hamida had a hard time fitting in… until she stopped trying.
She entered a humming contest after school one day. None of the authorities thought to ask her her gender, as she looked small and flew quickly. She out-hummed Hazrat, three-time winner of the regional humming championship. Her wings beat far faster than his, her movements were quicker and more innovative. Her speed, agility and the new moves she tried made her hum fascinating and novel.
It was only at the prize giving ceremony that her uncle (who had been participating as well) recognized her and let the organizers know she was a girl-bird. She was disqualified, and had to leave in disgrace.
Hazrat who had been a good sport as long as he believed Hamida to be male, was angry and threatened her with all kinds of unspeakable harms… he felt that his male-ness had been challenged, now that he’d been out-hummed by a girl-bird. And indeed, after that day, Hazrat who had been popular with the largest and most ponderous of the female hummingbirds, began to be blown off on dates and had to seek nectar alone. Hamida had always been lonely, so she did not feel any different after the attention from her new humiliation dissipated.
It was only when Hamida met Hema, a large, shy hummingbird, who had never really been impressed by the male-birds’ hums, and they became close that Hamida began to feel better about herself. Hema loved Hamida’s hum, and the two of them set up a nest together, despite the clan being most unhappy about it. Sometimes they were jeered at, with other birds asking what kind of a nest it would be without eggs. But Hamida and Hema were happy together and did their best to ignore the jeers.
When Hanna Humming-bird was killed by a vicious cat, leaving no one to sit on her newly laid eggs, Hema volunteered to help. At first, Horace, Hanna’s partner, was reluctant to let Hema sit on them. But he soon realised that the eggs would never hatch without Hema… and Hanna would never have wanted that. So he let Hema sit on the eggs.
Hamida felt a little insecure about this, because she wondered if Hema resented that Hamida could not help her lay eggs herself. Hema was quite sensitive to this and reassured Hamida that she was quite happy to sit on Hanna’s eggs and would not exchange her nest with Hamida for anything in the world.
When the eggs hatched, Horace was happy to have Hamida and Hema take care of the hatchlings along with him. The clan slowly got used to Hamida, Hema, Horace and the hatchlings. Apart from a snide remark here and there, their beautiful family is slowly being accepted.