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The Mystical Bird
My parents told me that my grandfather was arriving back in town today, and that we had to receive him from the airport. I was only six then, and I wondered, “How on Earth does an airplane fly in the wide sky, so swift like a bird, yet holding dozens of passengers on its back?”
Although I was too shy to ask my Mum, I hoped to solve this mystery when I’d actually watch my Dada walk triumphantly from the wide, frightening, dark jaws of the airplane.
We hired a cab and my Dad talked to the driver about some boring politician throughout the voyage. I thought of all the cars around us as ships, sailing to their destinations. However, nobody’s journey was as crucial as mine – I was finally going to see for myself what all the fuss was really about.
A couple of years back, I had boarded a plane but now it seemed centuries ago; unfortunately, I remembered nothing. My heart was beating so fast, I worried it would explode and all the blood from inside would splatter all over my younger brother, who was at the moment fascinated with the pictures he could create on the glass window with his small finger.
After a long, long while, we finally arrived. (I was quietly thanking God that my hair hadn’t turned gray and old already!)
It took up almost all my strength to stop myself from practically sprinting to wherever it was that the flock of airplanes landed.
As we were walking towards a gate, I spotted something bright and small in the sky. It was night already and the sky looked like a dark, black fragment of velvet that hadn’t any extremes, and so, the luminous star stood out like a dove among a congregation of black crows.
Suddenly, the star seemed to be coming closer to me and supposedly increasing in size. I was fearful, thinking that even stars must be of two types: good and bad, just like the animals. There were the mice who helped Cinderella go to the ball and meet the handsome, charming Prince, while on the other hand, there was also the Wolf who wanted to gobble up Red Riding Hood. Maybe, the star wanted to devour me too!
A voice came out of me, in form of a squeak. My Mum looked in the direction I was pointing to at the sky, and when she turned her face back to me, she laughed and said, “That’s the airplane in which your Dada is in”.
I thought to myself – how can such a star tinier than the size of the palm of my younger brother, hold my Dada and so many other people? My Mum must have seen the puzzled look on my face and so, she asked what I was thinking. I tried to put my jumbled up thoughts into words, but they made no sense out loud.
However, my Mum smiled at me and said, “My love, that was an airplane first. It then became a star, just the way you saw it. Seconds later, it’ll transform into a breathtaking, living bird. As it will land, it will change back into an airplane letting all of the passengers – including your Dada – walk out safely to their loved ones”.
It all made sense to me now, and as I marveled at how much my Mum knew about stars and birds and airplanes and – my thoughts were interrupted when I saw my Dada walking right at us. I became jittery and excited all over again. Only this time, the difference was that I didn’t stop myself, and ran right into the arms of my Dada.