My friend, Juli, was biking one day and came across this poor little hummingbird sitting on the road just waiting to be hit or run over. So she rescued it.
She Skyped me for help about what to feed it. With amazing patience and perseverance, she nursed the bird back to health. It was incredible how much the bird took to her. But the hummingbird would only eat when she fed him; it wouldn’t eat on its own. Juli called him “Pollo.”
Pollo became Juli’s shadow. He went all over the house with her (she’d carry him, because he still couldn’t fly). He’d sit with her. She’d bring him over to his feeder so he could eat. Although it became sort of a burden to constantly watch over him, Juli didn’t have the heart to not care for him.
He relied on her all the time. She’d go to bed next to him and wake up to his fluttering sounds. He eventually could flutter enough to test his wings, and Juli would try to help him take off on occasions — but most attempts would end up in aborted flights, only to go back to square one, sitting with Juli.
The painting I did of Juli is from a picture of Pollo sitting on Juli’s book while she tried to read.
Pollo became famous after what happened one day: the family left the house to go out, and when they returned, Juli’s father, Rodolfo, noticed that their German Shepherd, Argos, had something in his mouth. Rodolfo got Argos to open his mouth, and lo and behold, there was Pollo, all wet, slimy, and sluggish. No one knows how long Pollo was in Argos’ mouth: nor do they know if he was going to be Argos’ dinner/snack when Rodolfo suddenly interrupted things … but they saved Pollo from further damage. Pollo looked like a mess, but after he dried off, he seemed fine.
I’m not sure when or how much time elapsed after that, but sadly, one day Juli came home to find Pollo on the ground near his feeder, no longer breathing….
Just around that time, Juli received a commission to create a mural at a local mall. Her theme? Pollo, of course.
Craig Markarian is an architect, designer, and painter in Barcelona, Spain. http://craigmarkarian.blogspot.com/
His friend, Juli Cifuentes, is a teacher, writer, and artist in Cali, Columbia.