The animals watched how the gods kept the fire in their volcanoes

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The animals watched how the gods kept the fire in their volcanoes. Their desire for warmth and comfort from the darkness was overbearing. Hummingbird, Quinde, had an idea.

A long time, before in the years when animals, trees, and humans spoke to each other, there was a man of the eastern Ecuadorian people, the great Taquea, who had FIRE. No one knew why he had FIRE, only he did. His wife cooked meats and foods for him and their children. At night they use FIRE as light. Fames burning on twigs and animal fat bringing light to keep the family warm like the sun shining during the day.

The other Ecuadorians served their squash beans and Yucca uncooked and ate the fish they caught raw. They did not have the light to brighten their night and to comfort them with warmth. As soon as the sun sets they went to bed, and as soon as the sun rose they got up to do their hunting and fishing. The women did all the weaving and planting all during the day.

The Ecuadorians wanted the FIRE as the great Taquea had in his hearth and would not share.

A hummingbird Quinde heard the struggle of the humans, trees, and animals. They could not move at night. The cold kept the animals and human quiet and hidden in their homes safe from the noise and blowing of the wind. The trees could not move around; the insects had to stop collecting the pollen needed for the trees and plants.

Hummingbird Quinde decided to help everyone, as the Hummingbird is the spark of creativity. Quinde watched the wife of the great Taquea, who had FIRE and would not share, as she picked her vegetables.

Hummingbird Quinde soaked himself in the spray of water from the spring and laid himself in the pathway so the wife of the Taquea, who had FIRE and would not share, could find him. She looked at the limp hurt Hummingbird.

"What happened little Hummingbird you are wet and hurt?"

"I'm unable to fly. I need to dry by warming FIRE. My legs and wings are cold. I cannot eat with my sharp beak the sugary pollen for my meals. I will die."

"Hummingbird, you poor creature, I need you to pollinate my flowers. I will take you to FIRE. Do not get too close or FIRE or it will eat you. Warm yourself and be gone before my husband sees you at our hearth. He is the FIRE guard for the gods."

The wife of the great Taquea, who had FIRE and would not share, took Hummingbird and put him tenderly in her basket of on top of the vegetables. She walked him into her home and placed her basket on the rock hearth, which was a circle around the flames of FIRE, who eat dried plants and wood.

The wife of the great Taquea, who had FIRE and would not share, tenderly picked the cold, wet Hummingbird from her basket and set him in front of FIRE on the hearth. FIRE reached for them.

"Here, you stay so your wings might dry. Enjoy small Hummingbird, who flies in my garden of flowers. You will be safe. Stay away from Fire as he reaches towards you. Leave as soon as you can."

What joy for Hummingbird Quinde, who sat in the warm ashes. As he refreshed in the warmth, he rolled around and fluttered his wings taking a bath in the hot ash just like a fresh bath from the spring. He liked the warmth on his tiny feet and legs and in his feathers, just like the heat from the sun. Warming himself, Quinde decided what he must do.

While the wife of the great Taquea, who had FIRE would not share, cut the vegetable she had gathered, Quinde stood on the tiny feet and shook his wings to free them from the warm ash that clung to his beautiful dry feathers. In an instant with a sharp and quick decision he flew to FIRE, who reached forward to eat him.

With great intent he let his tail feathers gather a spark from FIRE.  As fast as Hummingbird Quinde could he flutter through the doorway into the depths of the jungle. He flew far and just before the spark on his feathers burnt out Hummingbird sat the spark on the dead wood of an old Pine tree.

"Pine, I offered this spark of FIRE on my tail feather to your dry wood. You can keep the FIRE as the great Taquea, who had FIRE and would not share with those who want the warmth and light."

Pine tree greatly accepted, "The FIRE is my family's. We will protect as the great, Taquea." Flames sharked and shot in the air from the old dry Pine wood. The animals watched with fear, while the monkeys watched with curiosity.

Over the canopy of the trees, the Ecuadorian saw thick smoke coming from the forest and ran from their farms to see what happened. They thought the great God Ray remembered their prayers for warmth so placed FIRE in the old Pine wood.

They examine where the FIRE burnt searching for a reason why FIRE was in the tree. The Ecuadorians found under twisting vines the remains of a burnt tail feather from Hummingbird Quinde. He was not there; he hid in the tallest tree watching as the Pine's branches fell to the ground aglow with red heat.

The Ecuadorians picked up the burning sticks with the FIRE. Hummingbird Quinde saw the glee in the humans' eyes and their walk as they carried FIRE back to their huts for their use.

To contain their FIRE, the Ecuadorian built hearths as the great Taquea, who once had FIRE and would not share. They nourish FIRE with more dry Pinewood and needles that they picked up on their way home. The hunger of FIRE ate everything given.

Immediately, they prepared and roasted their squash, yucca, and boiled their beans in clay pots. Unfortunately, they also hunted and roasted the flesh of animals, birds, and fish. The animals watched in wide-eyed as horrific heat and hunger of Fire cooked their cousin, that action separated the harmony of the animals from the humans. Distrust established, no longer could humans speak to the other in their world.

The humans did not care; they sat with their FIRE in the comfort while the animals hid and watched in fright smelling the hunger and want of FIRE. The humans resting around the glowing flames full of warmth told stories of their gods, and how Hummingbird Quinde with his long tail brought them FIRE.

Today there is a mark on Hummingbird Quinde's tail, a spark resembling a diamond that glistens in the sunlight as he filters from flower to flower to remind everyone, Hummingbird is the one who gave the Pine trees FIRE.


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