The Amazing Flight of Little Ray
February 2018 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” about flying stingrays, from a series of short moral stories for children, helps to motivate children with goal setting and practice so they can achieve the lofty goals put forth by stingrays flying like birds.

What can people learn from stingrays flying? According to, a recent Harris Poll reveals only 36% of Americans believe in UFOs. Little Ray wants everyone to believe in “Identified Flying Stingrays”. Solitary devil rays are not stingrays. However these stingray flying relatives take flight often enough to have earned the name “flying rays”. These elegant swimmers can do somersaults, flips, rolls, spins, twists and turns in the water or in the air. Because the flight of flying stingrays is not the self-powered flight of birds or bats, the accomplishment is special.

Taking a leap out of water is common for fish. Freshwater and saltwater fish do this, including those in oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, fountains, fish bowls and aquariums. As shown in “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”, stingrays flying or jumping out of the water can make adventurous flights through the air. Rarely is such flight made as a group activity, so it is sure to motivate children to step apart from their peers. Although they may swim as a group during migrations, stingrays and their shark cousins tend to fly alone. Some things are best accomplished in quiet solitude.

What causes stingray flight? Flying fish propel themselves out of the water, then use their fins to glide for hundreds of feet over the water surface. A group of flying fish is called a “glide”, because of the long flight path. It is faster and energy saving for these fish to move through air than through water. However, the faster a fish soars, the greater drag it meets against the force of air resistance. Leaping into the air can help flying stingrays evade capture by bigger fish or other predators in the water. Loud noises can send stingrays flying into the air. These amazing flights may afford temporary relief from something about the water that is not quite right, such as the temperature, turbidity, pH or the level and type of contaminants. “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” proves Little Ray can act in his own defense.

Flying fish rarely are in control of their flight motion. Once they reach a peak, fish stop rising and start falling. As a result, flying fish of every species are known to make crash landings onto boat decks and piers. These airborne creatures may smack into boats and other obstacles, including people. Collisions with large fish in flight can be damaging, or fatal. In Foot and Ankle Online Journal's Stingray Envenomation of the Foot: a Case Report, a freak collision with an airborne stingray killed a 12-year-old boy. Flying stingrays do not have the maneuverability of birds or bats in flight. “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” may resolve this lack of flight control for children and stingrays flying with great purpose. This short moral story may motivate children to seek assistance with big goals.

What caused Little Ray to take flight? Shortly after moving to Florida, V. R. Duin watched a stingray flying through the air, then splashing back into the water. It was that flying stingray, which gave V. R. Duin her first sighting. It inspired “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”. That amazing little stingray achieved a height of about three feet (one meter) above the water. It is not uncommon for flying stingrays to achieve heights of about twice that height. The best of flying fish generally have long wing-like fins and streamlined bodies. The airborne acrobatics of a stingray are awe-inspiring.

How well do stingrays fly? Flying stingrays cannot yet soar as high or as far as birds. Their body weight is too heavy for lengthy air travel. Their muscles are not designed for flight. They do not have the same incentive or the acute vision of their shark cousins to capture birds in flight. Stingrays are not physically built like sharks. They are designed to eat smaller prey found beneath them. Unlike sharks, their mouths are under their bodies. Neither stingrays nor sharks have the lightweight hollow bones designed for the flight of birds.

Stingrays and sharks cannot glide the distance of other flying fish or travel the world in flight. However, there is no reason why these aquatic animals should not try to better themselves, improve their living conditions and, perhaps, boost their communications. “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” can motivate children to reach new heights with goal setting and practicing. Little Ray's efforts and experience make it clear that children do not need wings to soar to great, new height. Soaring children have an added advantage over stingrays flying into trouble. They have feet. Once they land on their feet, children can walk away from unworkable problems and try a new approach.

What other animals fly without wings? Many creatures do not use wings to fly. Flying stingrays take flight with fins that look like wings. Stingrays cannot self-propel like a bird or bat in flight. Little Ray makes use of his wing-like fins to take to the air in “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”. For true flight, it is necessary to create a push toward the air, then overcome the downward pull of gravity. Birds and bats truly fly. Many flights made with or without wings, including those of stingrays flying, may be motivated by quests for food-rich locations. Little Ray proves that nobody needs wings to beat all challenges and exceed all limits. Goal setting, practice and perseverance are the tickets to success at school, at work and in the community.

Animals motivate children to learn about flight apparatuses. Skin flaps make it possible for mammals like flying squirrels, reptiles like flying geckos and amphibians like flying frogs to soar through the air. Ballooning spiders are arthropods that use silk threads for air travel. An article dated July 5, 2018, from the University of Bristol, republished in news indicates Spiders go Ballooning on Electric Fields. Like birds and insects, ballooning spiders can catch an updraft that lifts them into boat, car or airplane windshields. Oceanic squid are mollusks that can shoot a jet of water to rocket into the air for short distances, before falling back into the water.

How does heat help flight? “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” is about a determined young stingray's repeated efforts to become the first of stingrays flying with full flight control. With his Mama Ray watching, and thanks to a little help from above and encouragement from cheering fans on shore, Little Ray beats all odds. He is not stopped by the fact that flying stingrays are cold-blooded. Cold-blooded animals do not have the metabolism to compete with the warm flight power of birds. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department describes the difference between Warm and Cold-Blooded Animals.

Little Ray takes an amazing flight that should keep folks talking for generations. It's not every day that a young stingray decides to fly like a bird. Little Ray may not have the energy needed to generate strong thrust and he may not have the flight coordination of birds, but he can take advantage of lucky breaks and manage to fall with great style. In “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”, while using his mighty “wings” to propel above water and into the sky, this flying stingray meets with misadventure in the air. Sure bets often meet with complications in execution. Little Ray encourages different learning styles and flexible adaptations. With each effort, he learns new insights that guide him toward his flying goals.

Animals can motivate children to take care of themselves. Whether on land, in water or flying through the air, extreme conditions are hard on all animals. When under stress and before taking flight, stingrays and their shark relatives may vomit to discharge their stomach contents and lighten their load. Taking flight also may rid fish of external parasites that attack their skin, scales and gills. Fish are plagued by contagious external parasites, leeches, lice and worms. These harmful organisms might fall off when the host fishes splash back into their watery home. Unless they are in an aquarium, medical treatment to rid them of these pests is unavailable to most fish.

Do fish have flight plans? The amazing flights made by flying stingrays may be sudden or they may follow preflight preparations and warm-up exercises. In “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” practice sessions are required. Along the way, things do not always happen according to plan. In this first book in his series of short moral stories to motivate children, Little Ray makes a lot of false starts. Failure builds confidence and encourages him to find new ways to face fears.

Delays and obstacles may improve progress. They do not stop Little Ray. His strong will and singular focus enable him to take to the air. This little stingray's determined efforts encourage children to establish patterns of goal setting and practice. To get stingrays flying like birds does not come naturally. These amazing flight lessons must be practiced and earned. The persistence of Little Ray can show children the way to their goals. Rare is the goal that takes no disciplined efforts or struggles against unforeseen setbacks to accomplish. To fly to new height, young ones often must try and try new approaches and strategies.

Displaced animals may motivate children to adapt to change. According to the Science Center at the Library of Congress, Everyday Mysteries , including those of raining frogs, fish and other aquatic animals onto land do happen. Due to waterspout activity, flying stingrays and other aquatic animals have been observed and reported throughout history. Storms may surprise these unfortunate animals and carry them in amazing flights over long distances. Sometimes, they are carried for short distances. These aquatic animals may be safely returned to their watery environment. The unluckiest ones may be deposited onto land, where they need help to survive. When strong winds originate in the air and travel over water, they can suck up the frogs, fish and other aquatic animals dwelling within or resting upon the water. As these winds lose energy, these animals are dropped. It should be easy to see these luckless animals flopping on streets and lawns. A telescope may be required to see stingrays flying within a waterspout or making reentry into water.

Do fish take visual flights? Unlike humans, some fish have telescopic eyes. As with humans, different fish have different levels of visual acuity and color sensitivity. Some fish are blind. Some fish see contrasting colors and color spectrums beyond the scope of human perception. Flying stingrays may take amazing flight for visual orientation or for navigation around obstacles. The view from above may help fish map their migration routes. Sun orientation may guide flight and migration. Stingrays flying or swimming can see equally well in air or water. In “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”, it is clear that flying stingrays can see while they are in flight. Stingrays do not have the sharpest of vision among aquatic animals. Their vision does not compare to that of birds. Moreover, the view of any sighted fish from the air is limited by an inability to live for long periods out of the water.

Little Ray gives new meaning to “fish out of water”. Readers of “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” know Little Ray's experience in the air is not one of comfort. Since few fish can take in oxygen while they are in the air, a return to the water is required to prevent a suffocation similar to drowning. Humans are the opposite in that they need ready access to air for the intake of oxygen to prevent death by drowning. The expression “like a fish out of water” reflects discomfort or awkwardness in an unfamiliar situation. Many goals do not seem realistic or possible, until they are accomplished. While fish are out of the water, their gills collapse. They cannot breathe. Lungfish have lungs in addition to gills, so they can survive for long periods out of the water. They burrow to conserve energy. Although better equipped than flying stingrays, lungfish do not take advantage of their lungs to fly.

Water is critical to the survival of fish. They must pump water across their gills to get oxygen for survival. Stingrays flying briefly out of the water may serve useful and entertaining purposes. Flying stingrays may take amazing flight into the air for pure enjoyment. Stingrays' flying leaps may be a form of communication. Perhaps, they are even showing off. Like their stingray cousins, sharks often hurl themselves through the air, but the reasons may be different. Sharks can hunt in the water and in the air. Fish may motivate children to take full advantage of their unique qualities.

Can flying stingrays escape flying sharks? Leaping through the air like Little Ray in “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” is not good shark protection. Whether they are soaring through the air or racing along in the water, sharks can catch stingrays flying or swimming. Unlike stingrays, sharks hunt easily and keenly while they are airborne. Sharks have been known to launch themselves out of the water to pluck prey from shore or from rocks. Fish may motivate children to consider their special place in nature. Two of the books in Little Ray's children's book series use the riveting action of swimming and flying stingrays to create a sense of adventure. Sharks and armadillos inject new insights into these short moral stories with lessons inspired from the wild.

Sharks are at the top of the oceanic food chain. This is not to say that sharks are totally invincible. They have been known to strand dinner or themselves on shore. According to Pizard's GURPS Miscellanea, Devil Rays often breach during their slow, vertical swimming loops close to the ocean's surface. Flipping over a couple of times may land them back in the water. A shark that is beached for too long is sure to die. Their internal organs are crushed by the weight of these fish without the buoyancy of water. Sharks can be caught by an octopus, and weakened or injured to fall prey to other predators. Although flying stingrays and sharks are relatives, they are not natural friends. Stingrays often wind up as shark bait for fishing.

Get children buzzing about fun animal facts and amazing flight possibilities. It is a good thing that Little Ray gets along with the shark that co-stars in this second seafaring adventure in Little Ray's series of short moral stories. There will be no more squabbling or running away, when heroic collaboration is needed. In “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”, assistance comes from above and below for stingrays flying. Occasions abound to motivate children to practice the team building, leadership and communication skills fostered by Little Ray and Shark.

Along the way, children find guidance in the examples set by Little Ray. To inspire and motivate children, Little Ray promises to continue his efforts to exceed all bounds for stingrays flying. Changes in behavior often are critical to success and to survival. To quit is not an option. “The Foxy Armadillos”, from the Little Ray Children's book series, are certain to make reading interesting, lead to new discoveries and motivate children to collect interesting, new friends. Children will see life as an exciting adventure and celebrate large and small accomplishments. Little Ray and his Mama Ray encourage communications about progress toward each and every accomplishment.

Little Ray encourages dreams of flying. Someday, this flying stingray may make an amazing flight that becomes newsworthy. He might expand or protect his territory from threatening rays or impress a mate with his commanding flights. Little Ray may have his head in the clouds, but his dreams are not totally impractical. There are many ways to navigate through air. Not all of them require self-propulsion. Few great accomplishments happen in isolation or without errors along the way. Success often depends upon teamwork. In “Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up”, children also experience the power of teamwork over the cowardly tactics of bullying. Animals often work together to protect one another and to care for their young. While governments look for UFOs, Little Ray puts on real flying shows. This flying stingray takes to the air, again and again, to motivate children to reach for high goals.

With a little help from friends, Little Ray beat all expectations for his amazing flight. In part his success is owing to the fact that, despite mishaps along the way, Little Ray remains positive, flexible and cooperative. He serves as a good example for children as he practices hard to break the record he set for stingrays flying in “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”. For now, let's be glad that Little Ray still can practice his flying leaps from the water into the air. Flying stingrays can motivate children to move beyond their comfort zone and build resilience for the pursuit of opportunities at school at home and in the community.

Little Ray does not have the air sac that helps a bird in flight. However, this little stingray hopes to catch an updraft and a stream of wind that will carry him beyond the record he set for stingrays flying. “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” was a successful practice session. His goal was to exceed the bounds and achieve the flying efficiency of the world's greatest of flying stingrays, bats and birds. Examples of amazing success are everywhere. An albatross travels at great speed as it glides around the world, without landing or constant flapping of its wings. Sometimes, it is necessary to conserve energy. Birds are built for oxygen efficiency. Little Ray's cousin, the bat ray, also is a very good flier. Rays and bats have an extra sense to detect prey. Adults and children find something “electric” about Little Ray's goals and his sensory perception.

Children can make amazing flight with Little Ray. There is no reason why flying stingrays or determined children cannot glide around the world like albatrosses. “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” is from a series of short moral stories about flying stingrays and other inspirational critters from land and sea. Penguins are flightless birds, but they thrive in the water and on land. Animals are very clever about observing others and working together to overcome obstacles to their survival. Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution argued that, by natural selection; plants, animals and other organisms that adapt to their environment are more likely to survive. As comes naturally, Little Ray uses his bravery and cunning to make a safe return to his home at sea.

People have been known to borrow ideas from nature. Throughout the ages, people have wanted to fly like birds. The History of Flight largely was inspired by birds. Who doesn't dream of taking flight? Little Ray believes his short moral stories can motivate children to make amazing flights, achieve new heights and reel in new successes. Observing nature can lead to innovations that can help people create and improve products for everyday living. Little Ray's dreams of exceeding records set by birds and stingrays flying are realistic. Goals should have no limits. While success may benefit from the delegation of some tasks, productivity is not enhanced by waiting for the approval of naysayers.

Stingrays Flying

  • Flying Stingrays Little Ray says:

    Sharks leaping into the air and slapping the water upon return to the sea can be scarier to people than flying stingrays.

  • motivate children Little Ray says:

    Little Ray can motivate children to prepare for a better future with the skills, habits and confidence earned in “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”.

    • amazing flightLittle Ray says:

      In Little Ray's amazing flight, it takes a luck, ingenuity, and help from others to soar to great height.