Wherever the wind would blow, Melvin would go.
When it blew South, he went South. When it blew North, he went North.
It was the only way he knew to fly.
One day, as he was gliding through the skies, Melvin sighted something in the distance.
It was an owl!
Melvin couldn’t remember the last time he saw a fellow bird. Ever since he learned to fly, his only companion was the wind.
As he got closer, his excitement turned to confusion. There was something strange about this owl.
Then, it hit him: the owl was flying towards him. This could only mean one thing. It was flying against the wind!
“Impossible!”, he thought. Melvin knew the only way to fly was to spread one’s wings and soar with the wind.
His mind was swimming with questions. He was determined to confront this magical owl.
“Hey there!”, he shouted.
The owl didn’t seem to hear him.
“Hey! Please! I need to talk to you!”, he pleaded.
Before he knew it, the owl had already flown past him. With the wind blowing behind Melvin, there was no way for him to turn around. He could only go where the wind went.
Just when he thought he missed his chance, Melvin saw that the owl had circled back, and landed on a tree up ahead.
He wasted no time and made a beeline for the tree.
“Hi! I’m Melvin! Nice to meet you… Mr. Owl?”
“Hello there! You may call me Samuel. What’s all the chirping about?”
“Oh, yes, well, you see… I was wondering… how did you fly toward me like that?”
Samuel tilted his head in confusion. “What do you mean?”
“Well, you were flying towards me…”
“Yes, yes, so I was… And? What of it?”
“…but the wind was blowing against you!”
The owl looked at him curiously. “…Have you never flown against the wind?”
“No… I… I didn’t think that was possible.”
“Ah. Fascinating… Well, my little friend, it seems you have never flown at all.”
“Oh, my… If I could fly without the wind, I could fly anywhere! Is there any chance you could teach me?”
“Hmmm. I am a busy owl, you see. Lots of hooting to do…”
Melvin waited patiently, pleading with his eyes.
“Well, alright! I shall teach you. But be warned: the hard part comes afterwards…”
“The hard part…?”
“We’ll get to that soon enough. For now, let’s take a little flying lesson, shall we?”
Off they went.
At first, Melvin could barely stay still against the powerful gusts. Little by little, he flapped his wings and propelled himself in bursts.
After much struggle, Melvin was flying alongside Samuel. The wind was now a passenger, rather than his carrier.
Wherever Samuel would go, Melvin would go.
“Wohoo! I’m a free bird! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Samuel. You’ve changed my life!”
Samuel nodded, but went quiet for a while.
“I have given you this freedom. But with it, I have burdened you with a much greater challenge.”
Melvin was confused. “I’m free now. What could be hard about that?”
“Now, you must decide where to go.”
Samuel nodded his farewell, and went on his way.
It suddenly occurred to Melvin that he had never actually chosen where to go.
He always left it up to the wind.
Melvin felt scared but determined. A world of discovery awaited him.
Wherever Melvin wished to go, Melvin would go.