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219


You imagine your long, slender arms sprouting soft white feathers, your elbows bending backwards... You feel your limbs contorting, changing shape, the desert wind pressing against two arcing appendages which, until just now, had not existed.

You look admiringly at your new pair of wings. The feathers you had imagined in your mind have somehow changed from white to an iridescent rainbow color, almost crystalline in the sunlight. Tentatively, you decide
to test your new muscles, and smile with approval as your wings gracefully snap open to embrace the air. You are surprised, though, at their size--almost twelve meters in length from tip to tip--but you then conclude
that if they were any smaller, perhaps they would not support your somewhat awkward shape and un-birdlike weight.

Of course, you have never flown before, but the air is so warm and inviting and the sky so deep and clear, you suddenly find yourself yearning for flight. Stretching your wings to their full extension, you begin to flap as
you imagine a bird might....

and nothing happens.

You try again with same result. No matter how hard or how quickly you flap, your body stays rooted, heavy as a stone, to the desert sand.

"That's not the way you do it." A friendly voice interrupts your sixth attempt and you whirl around, looking for its source. Unfortunately, you forget your outstretched wings and the force of their movement knocks you face down into the sand.

The voice chuckles. "Haven't you ever flown before, chickie?"

As you angrily spit sand from your mouth, sputtering with both pain and embarrassment, you finally notice the source of the voice. A tall horse stood gold and yellow against the horizon, but he was no ordinary horse...

"You're made of sand!" You exclaim, jumping to your feet.

"Of course. I'm a sandhorse. My name is Sky-so-bright, and you woke me from my nap."

No wonder you hadn't noticed him before! He must have been camouflaged, lying there in the sand. "I'm so sorry," you apologize. "It's just that I've never flown before..." you stop yourself, "Wait a second, horsie. What do you know about flying anyway? I don't see any sand-wings on your sand-body, sandhorse!"

"Of course I don't fly, silly birdling. But I've watched so many of the little empraula chicks learn to scratch the sky, you know? Would you like instructions?"

You realize you have very little idea of what Sky-so-bright is speaking about. With a sigh, you decide to....



By:  Amber


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