Hummingbird in a Crow’s Nest

He was the sort of person who collected the feathers of hummingbirds each night when he filled the feeders with sweet syrup.. They didn’t seem to mind him, buzzing around his head in the dusk, ignoring the long tweezers that plucked daintily only the loosest down, ready to shed anyway, no harm done, and thank you. He liked to think it was his aura that instilled the trust of these wild, quicksilver birds, but when asked he’d admit the winged beasts were most likely drawn frenzied to the syrup, not him, as he’d perfected the color to a true, hibiscus red.
By the end of each summer, the antique salt cellar on the window sill was full of fluff, tiny things that could have built another bird, one that would fly off to warmer places with it’s companions. Feathers so small they could hardly be seen one at a time, but that had propelled their wearer thousands of miles, at a dozen beats of the wing each second.
When the first frost came, he took the salt cellar full of treasure to the garden, and shook it. A thousand tiny feathers flew in to the wind. Three or four would stick, though, each year. Those he brought back inside.
Just after Halloween he’d start the season’s boat. Rigging would be unspooled, and tied with the same tweezers, under a magnifier, in to perfect knots. Sails would be hung, and laquer would be applied in careful layers, evermindful of the beauty of the wood grain.
In the spring, the boat would sail on the pond. And because he liked a joke as much as anyone, each year there would be a crows nest, no matter if the ship, historic in all other respects, would have had one or not. A proper crows nest, properly scaled and woven and sized.. and lined with just a few, soft, tiny feathers.

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