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Learning to fly

The deadly white winter was fast approaching.

Just a few weeks ago, mama starling had hatched her eggs and given birth to four little hatchlings. Vowing to nurse her frail babies to good health, the mother had scouted the neighbourhood for fat worms and caterpillars all day.

When her babies finally looked big and healthy, the excited mother said, “My little darlings, I’ll teach you all to fly very soon!”

The little birds looked at each other, startled.

“But mom! The tree is so tall. What if we fall down?” asked one of them.

“Can’t we just hop around? It’s fun!” suggested another.

Dejected, the mother bird dropped the subject. With the weather getting steadily colder, she realised that she had to come up with a new way to get her babies flying. So, the next morning, she woke them up early to gaze at the skies.

Pointing to a flock of starlings flying at a distance, one of them asked, “Wow, mommy! What are those?”

“Well, sweetie, they’re starlings just like you and me!” the mother bird replied.

“They are so cool! It is as if they are performing a dance in the sky!” exclaimed one, starry-eyed.

“We want to learn that dance too!” chipped in another, awed.

The wise bird smiled. At last, she had succeeded in inspiring her babies.

Of course, the process of getting them off the ground wasn’t easy. The baby birds fell quite a few times. But, the protective mother had cleverly cushioned their fall with leaves and twigs so that they wouldn’t get hurt.

The big day finally arrived. It was time for the babies’ first big flight. They were about to migrate down south to escape the winter.

“Mommy, we’re ready. Let’s go!” chirped one of her children, perched at the edge of the nest.

Casting one last wistful look at their home, which had marked an important phase of their lives, she joined her children and soared into the sky.

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