By Jules Watson
Benjamin was zipping around Central Park near West 81st Street early one summer morning, starving as usual, wondering if there was ever anything new or interesting for breakfast. His mother died when he was young and so he had to fend for himself at an early age. He had no real memories of their breakfasts together. Breakfast was a lonely time for him.
Harriet, on the other hand, was ready to pounce on her morning repast. Her insatiable hunger overtook her grief about the chapter she had just finished rereading in “Charlotte’s Web” where Charlotte was dying. It was one of her favorite books when she was young.
Two creatures bound by breakfast and life and death.
There is a certain cobblestone path in the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park where early morning magic rituals happen every day. But one needs a certain set of eyes to see them. Stressed out, hurrying grown-ups will never experience them.
Benjamin and Harriet met on a blisteringly hot morning, August the 18th. They practically banged straight into each other leaning into a tall, spiky, hot-pink flower that looked a bit like a menacing dragon. Benjamin’s yellow-and-black-striped top was in sharp contrast with the flower and caught Harriet’s eye. She was feeling a bit glum about Charlotte’s impending death; she did get so emotionally involved with the characters in her books. A little flirt might be just what she needed to lift her up!
She flitted over to Benjamin and batted her eyelashes at him and, Good Lord, it looked like they were going a thousand miles a minute. And in that sultry summer moment, in a garden still wet with morning dew, a chance encounter started a friendship that grew into a great love.
From that point on, Benjamin the Bumble Bee and Harriet the Hummingbird shared breakfast in the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park and it became a joyful time to be alive, not sad, and they lived happily ever after.