HERE IS THE STORY OF THE GREAT FOREST THAT CAUGHT ON FIRE
The terrible fire raged and burned. All of the animals were afraid and fled from their homes. The elephant and the tiger, the beaver and the bear all ran, and above them the birds flew in a panic. They huddled at the edge of the forest and watched. All of the creatures gathered, except one.
Only Dukdukdiya, the little hummingbird, would not abandon the forest. Dukdukdiya flew quickly to the stream. She picked up a single drop of water in her beak. Dukdukdiya flew back and dropped the water on the fire. Again she flew to the stream and brought back another drop, and so she continued—back and forth, back and forth.
The other animals watched Dukdukdiya’s tiny body fly against the enormous fire, and they were frightened. They called out to the little hummingbird, warning her of the dangers of the smoke and the heat.
“What can I do?” sobbed the rabbit. “This fire is much too hot.”
“There is too much smoke!” howled the wolf.
“My wings will burn! My beak is too small!” cried the owl.
But the little hummingbird persisted. She flew to and fro, picking up more water and
dropping it, bead by bead, onto the burning forest.
Finally, the big bear said, “Little Dukdukdiya, what are you doing?”
Without stopping, Dukdukdiya looked down at all of the animals.
She said, “I am doing what I can.”
from FLIGHT OF THE HUMMINGBIRD by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas