My summer holidays had begun and I was lazing in bed feeling like a procrastinator. Suddenly Mummy came n with something in her hands. A tiny hummingbird! It was trembling because of a broken leg which was bleeding badly. “Arun Bhaiya found the poor thing lying under the Kadamb tree in the garden,” Mummy said.

Oh! The desire I had to hug and kiss it was uncontrollable and the disappointment, indescribable when I realised it was too small!

My sister, Prakriti, and I got her the basket we used for our chickens a year ago and I washed her leg and bound it with gauze.

We put her in my softest napkin with a bottle cap half full of water and sprinkled some millet – seeds near it. When Dad came home he christened her ‘Melanie’, on the spot and Melanie she was!

For two days we played with, soothed, caressed and comforted her When the sun rays bounce off her back, pink, green, red, mauve, yellow and a deep glint of blue would shimmer and glimmer all around her. On the third day, after giving Melanie her millet seeds and water. I went out to play. When I came back and asked Mummy if could play with her, “Sure” was the answer. I expected Melanie to be up and about-about just the just the previous she had started tweeting.

I opened the cage and there she was stiff and cold, with her legs suspended in midair. I screamed! I was hysterical. I ran to my room and slamming the door shut flung myself ° onto the bed and cried. After I had calmed down I told Mummy and Prakriti what had happened, Silently, we buried her and planted pansies over her grave and sobbed, tears flowing freely down our cheeks.

My time with Melanie was brief but very beautiful My memories of her-hopping in the garden, tweeting for the first time, standing with the nap rainbow colors shimmering around her, sleeping in napkin-these memories always be with always me with me, treasured in my Heart …

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