The Kiwi Who Flew
This fairy tale from New Zealand is nearly complete and it starts like this ...
There was a kiwi – Paul was his name – who decided he could fly. He told his parents and they got angry. He told his friends and they told him he was silly. But that didn’t put Paul off. He decided he could fly and so he knew he could.
He flapped his stubby wings and nothing happened; he just stood there, a non-flying kiwi. He flapped harder and still nothing happened except that he got sore wings and a headache. However, he had convinced himself he could fly so he knew he could.
And so he kept telling people he could fly and they got very angry or felt very sorry for him. After all, The Rule was that Kiwis Cannot Fly and that was the rule and that was that – it would never change.
Just as people felt sorry for Paul, so he felt sorry for them. He felt sorry that they let The Rule run their lives – they always talked about how amazing it would be to fly and they envied starlings, pigeons and seagulls, being able to soar around in the air. Other kiwis thought it was their stubby wings stopping them from flying but Paul thought it was The Rule stopping them.
He knew other Rules were wrong. The rule about the world being flat was wrong and he would prove it when he flew around it. The rule about the sun being hot was wrong – if he flew away from the Earth, towards the sun, he would be a freezing wee kiwi. So, the sun’s rays were only hot when they mixed with the chemicals in the earth’s atmosphere, He would prove it when he flew.
Paul was a kiwi. He wasn’t an eagle and so he had no mother to toss him out of the nest, high on a cliff, to force him to fly. When he asked his mother to toss him off a cliff she was so upset she wouldn’t talk to him for days. He also suspected that the phone calls she made when she thought he wasn’t listening were to Dr. Kiwi, the psychiatrist.
He wasn’t a skylark or a thrush and so he had no parents to demonstrate flying to him and to teach him how to do it ...