The story of the Flight of the Hummingbird is the story of a hummingbird within a forest that is determined to put out a fire that spreads throughout it’s home. As all the other animals from the forest complain about how the fie is to hot ad to dangerous to try and put out, the hummingbird, named Dukdukdiya was determined to put the fire out. The hummingbird states at the end of the parable that she is doing what she can to try a save her home.
The story of this determined hummingbird was inspired by a fable that was told by the Quechan people of present day Ecuador. This story was published within a book that also included a foreword by Wangari Maathai and a description of the hummingbird’s effect on American audiences that read the story by Michelle Benjamin.
The foreword describes Maathai’s work with environmental protection and personally how he relates to the story of the hummingbird. This foreword allows the audience reading this story to relate it to their own life. Even though this story has been passed down from generations of indigenous people, Americans from the twenty-first century are capable to relate to this story because they can identify with the character of the hummingbird. The section after the parable that describes the effect of the story discusses the meaning of a hummingbird in indigenous stories. The afterword then goes on to discuss that this story was and still is an effective tool in promoting positive environmental change because the character of the hummingbird makes Americans of all ages realize that any one person can make an impact on their home environment. As with Dukdukdiya in the burning forest and the hummingbirds that populate the stories and parables of many peoples, it’s not necessarily the largest, most courageous, or loudest animal that can do the most good or have the greatest influence. Rather, those who are not afraid to act, and who are aware of what is at stake, can make the biggest difference.