The Amazing Flight of Little Ray displayed at 50% of viewport width
February 2019 by V. R. Duin


Little Ray was tired of lazing in pools,
Watching fellow fish in herd-like schools.
The blue sky looked so clear and bright.
Little Ray wanted to join the birds in flight.
(The Amazing Flight of Little Ray)

The Amazing Flight of Little Ray is about flying stingrays. Flight success by a fish helps motivate children to embrace the unknown. They can achieve greater height than stingrays flying like birds.

A Harris Poll showed 36% of Americans believe in UFOs. Rays do somersaults, flips, rolls, spins, twists and turns. While governments look for UFOs, fish take flight. Their flying shows lend fresh perspectives to goals.

Little Ray plans to fly like a bird. With wing-like fins, he repeatedly hurls himself from the water. Determination, practice and a support structure help him build confidence to overcome fears and false starts.

Success is spurred by accountability, feedback and monitoring. Little Ray knows his Mama is worried. He hears feedback from people on shore. External factors enhance self-motivation and awareness of progress.

Fish see equally well in air and water. Vision provides direction. Focus is needed to break down tasks for step-by-step recognition of weaknesses and advancement of strengths within prescribed time periods.

Fish are sentient beings. They have strong senses with which to perceive their environment. The star of this story purposefully reactive, appropriately responsive and consciously aware of positive and negative results.

Flying stingrays are “fish out of water”. They need water for oxygen intake through gills and spiracles. Lungfish have lungs and gills. They burrow during droughts. They don't use their lungs to take to the air.

Fish trajectories are range-bound. Gills collapse out of water. The Amazing Flight of Little Ray is appropriately one of discomfort, exhaustion, resistance, interruptions and changing circumstances.

Goals have physical and functional limitations. They must be realistic and within the boundaries of safe and acceptable behavior. Little Ray did not push his limits by aspiring to reach outer space, where few have ventured.

The best fliers are warm-blooded. Cold-blooded Ray gets warm-blooded help from above and encouragement from shore. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department discusses Warm and Cold-Blooded Animals.

Air sacs aid avian flight. Hollow bones add strength, distance and height. The glide path of flying fish extends hundreds of feet, prompting the group name “glide”. They are bony fish. Fish have no air sacs.

Stingrays are made of cartilage. Cartilage is flexible and softens falls. It equips the star of this story with the proper tool to make his downturns temporary. He catches lucky breaks and learns to fall with great style.

Air has less drag than water. Fish take flight in search of food or to escape predators. Noise, temperature, chemistry, muddiness, filth or stench may bother them. They fly for fun, to express themselves or to show off.

Fish soar from oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, fountains, bowls and tanks. They smack into people and things. In FAOJ a boy dies from a crash landing rather than from Stingray Envenomation of the Foot: a Case Report.

Fish do not flap their fins to fly. Fish push off, reach the height of momentum and start falling. Gravity makes it hard to stay airborne. Fish musculature is designed for undulating thrust to power them through water.

Wing flapping provides lift for birds and bats. An abstract cited by the NCBI explains Muscle Function in Avian Flight: Achieving Power and Control. Flight upstroke, speed and hovering are strenuous.

Air travels need not be self-powered. Little Ray may catch an updraft or wind stream. The albatross may hold records for their energy-saving glides around the world, without constant wing flapping or landing to rest.

Sun aids the air navigation of fish. Fish and bats have an electric sense for guidance. There are electric fields on land and in water. Some fish produce electricity. Others feel it. Birds orient with the Earth's magnetic field.

The history of human air travel was inspired by birds. Observing nature brings new and improved products to everyday living. Life-changing actions come with positivity of purpose, practice and feedback, not wings.

Squids rocket by creating water jets. Mammals, reptiles and amphibians use skin flaps. An article in news reports Spiders go Ballooning on Electric Fields and crash into airplane windshields.

Flights may be sudden. Before takeoff, stingrays and sharks may vomit. Stress sends fish airborne. Splashes knock off leeches, lice, parasites and worms. They have no curative drugs to administer to themselves in the wild.

Winds lift animals. LOC holds Raining Frog Mysteries. Slowing winds drop them. Some are returned to water. Unlucky ones flop onto land. People may safely return them to their aquatic habitat.

People are smart about watching others and working together. Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution argued survival comes with adapting to the environment. A strong will to live gets stingrays flying.

The following flight video tells communicates how to beat all odds: “The world helps those who try and try, to fly and fly.” The words are not from the book. Illustrations and ideas are from the story. (34 seconds)