My stomach was rumbling after I had finally gotten home from college. Oh boy was I ready to fill it up with the dim sum I had missed so much in college. All the excitement had to be put on hold as my youngest brother noticed a persistent thudding sound in the garage. It turned out to be a little hummingbird hitting its wings on the roof to escape out of the garage. The poor thing didn’t know that it couldn’t break through our roof to get out, even I couldn’t.

We opened the garage doors so that it could escape. Nevertheless, it kept beating against the roof completely confused as to why it couldn’t escape. It was sad but magnificent to witness. Its delicate wings fluttered so fast it looked like its body was a hovering spaceship. Despite all the banging its wings did, it remained gracefully balanced and had precise movements.

My family commenced operation hummingbird freedom. We didn’t want to just leave it in the garage for a couple of hours in the Texas heat. The broom squad initiated the rescue. A couple of us with brooms tried to direct the bird towards the opening of the garage so that it could escape.

We were very careful not to touch the bird. It was hell-bent on hitting the roof as it would keep dodging the brooms and going deeper into the garage. Next, the sugar squad tried to rescue the bird using its stomach. They placed some sugar, since it was the closest thing to nectar, on a long pole and tried to get the hummingbird to follow. It seemed like the bird just ate a buffet because it hardly noticed the stick at all.

The last squad was the trappers. They duct taped a bucket onto the sugar pole and tried to capture the bird inside, so it could be escorted out. We underestimated the strength of duct tape. While we were moving the pole towards the bird, the bucket fell off and hit the roof of one car. We ended up getting a ladder and a big box with one side open.

A few of us would try to hold the brooms and direct the bird towards the box more aggressively. We finally captured it with a loud thud against the roof. However, we underestimated the determination of the bird. Whenever we moved the box, it would escape. A hummingbird is smaller than you think. To give some context, a hummingbird can remember the location of every flower in its territory, it consumes twice its weight every day, and it can fly at 30 mph.

Feeling frustrated and hungry, we decided to forget strategy and all go at it at once. Brooms and boxes and sticks were all coming at the elusive hummingbird. None of us were supposed to touch it since it could easily get hurt. We managed to get it off the roof right next to the opening of the garage. Someone captured it in the box, and it escaped and went out the right way. It flew out of the garage on its own!

With smiles and heavy stomachs, we got in the car and left to eat our victory feast. At the end of the meal, it struck me that I just ate some chicken after all the trouble we took to free the hummingbird. It made me wonder who the real dumb ones were.