For such a long time he had enjoyed the warm comforts of his hone. His mom and dad had taken good care of him and his brothers and sisters. There was the occasional tussle and fight over food, but there was also always enough to go around. As time passed he had grown large and strong. He thought he would stay in this wonderful place forever. Even though, in the back of his mind, there was this nagging suspicion that something was missing. Something important.
The days grew longer and warmer. His home grew smaller, as his brothers and sisters also grew large and strong. Mom and dad had come more and more often, but then, all of a sudden, they just stopped. His sister, the loudest of his family, was the first to leave the familiar confines of home, to explore whatever it was that waited outside. He remembered watching her leave… One second she was standing there, the next she was gone. He thought he heard his parents just outside. He decided they would return again, like they always did, so, enjoying the extra space, he made himself comfortable and went to sleep.
When he woke up there was still no sign of his parents. He was hungry. Where were they? Looking around he realized that most of his brothers were gone. Where did they go? Only the youngest and littlest remained. He was also the quietest. When he went over to nudge him, his little brother hardly stirred. Suddenly home seemed far too big, and he felt something he had never felt before. He felt afraid. Afraid for himself, afraid for his parents, and afraid for his little brother. Why didn’t his little brother move? Why didn’t he sing out anymore?
He paced all around his home, until he was exhausted. It was too dark to go outside. He knew bad things waited in the darkness. He had to wait until morning. So, troubled and afraid, he went to sleep. He dreamed he heard his parents calling, but not just his parents, his brothers and sisters too. All of them except one, his little brother. He dreamed of something that glowed, which felt like his little brother, but also felt far larger and stronger than his little brother had ever been. He dreamed he heard his family calling him again, and when he woke up, he could still hear them. They seemed to be just outside.
As he roused himself from sleep he found he was next to his little brother. But his brother was cold, silent and still. He seemed so fragile there, so unlike what he had been like in the dream. He preferred to see his little brother the way he had been in the dream. He hated to leave him alone, but he was far too hungry to stay now. It was time to go. Slowly, taking his time, he went to the edge of everything he knew, then he jumped off and left it all behind.
Outside his parents were there, waiting. They wanted him to come to them. The sun was bright and shining. He heard his brothers and sisters singing somewhere nearby. He heard other sounds as well. Strange, unfamiliar sounds. He glanced back, just once. His little brother still had not moved. The home they had shared seemed so small again. He made his way to his parents, moving carefully towards them, step by step. They seemed so far away. But he finally reached them. That’s when they showed him what to do. As he watched them, the fear returned, in full force.
But his stomach growled and he could feel he was growing weaker. Something inside him told him that his parents loved him, and were showing him exactly what he needed to do. That in doing this, that feeling of something missing would go away, never to return. But he had to overcome his fear. He head to step out in faith, in trust, in his parents and in himself. Something inside of him seemed to be saying the same thing, over and over again. “It is time.”
Abandoning all caution, choking back his fear, he jumped up, exactly as his parents had done, and he found himself falling, plummeting to a certain death. He closed his eyes, resigned to his fate. There was nothing he could do but simply give in. Just let it happen, whatever it was. At the very last moment, it did. His body responded, and parts of him did something they had never done before. In that moment, he found his wings. In that moment, he flew. In that moment, he finally understood his purpose!
As he felt the wind rushing beneath his wings and the exhilaration of flying coursed through him, for just a moment he thought he saw, flying right next to him, the form of his little brother. Only it was bright and seemed to be be composed of light and color. It seemed somehow bigger, far bigger, than his little brother had been. As he glided over his parents towards the ground, the figure vanished. But some part of him knew his little brother was still there, he could feel him, just not see him.
When he landed he felt the approval of his parents. They seemed to be looking at him with pride, and maybe a little sadness. When they saw their son was safely on the ground, they flew up and away. He knew he would miss them, but he also felt that this was for the best. He knew what to do now. But first things first, it was time to get something to eat…