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. This story of flight by a fish helps motivate children with goal setting and practice. They can reach higher goals 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 put on real flying shows.
Little Ray decides to fly like a bird. With wing-like fins, he hurls himself out of the water. He finds lucky breaks and learns to fall with style. Little Ray makes false starts. Failure builds confidence to face fears.
Little Ray encourages work alone and in groups. More fish fly alone than in groups. Some things are easier to do in peace and quiet. 'Flight' also means “escape”.
It is faster for fish to fly than swim. Flights may be in search of food or to escape predators. Noise, temperature, chemistry, muddiness, filth or stench may bother them. Fish may fly for fun, to express themselves or to show off.
Fish fly from oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, fountains, fish bowls and tanks. They smack into people and things. In Foot and Ankle Online Journal's Stingray Envenomation of the Foot: a Case Report a boy died.
A sighting prompted the first book in the series. That ray reached a height of about three feet. They can soar over water at twice that height. Flying fish have wing-like fins and streamlined bodies.
Air sacs help birds fly. Flying fish glide hundreds of feet, giving a group the name “glide”. Hollow bones add strength, distance and height. Rays' cartilage softens falls.
Fish muscles are designed for swimming. Fins don't work like bird wings. The first step in flight is pushing off. Gravity makes it hard stay in the air. Birds and bats truly fly.
Wings aren't needed to break ceilings. Mammals, reptiles and amphibians soar with skin flaps. Spiders use silk threads. An article in phys.org news reports Spiders go Ballooning on Electric Fields. Squids rocket on water jets.
The best fliers are warm-blooded. Cold-blooded Ray gets warm-blooded help from above and encouragement from shore. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department presents Warm and Cold-Blooded Animals.
Fish flights may be sudden and unplanned. Before takeoff, stingrays and sharks may vomit. Stress can send fish airborne. Splashes knock off leeches, lice, parasites and worms. They are unlikely to get drugs.
Winds suck animals from water. The Library of Congress holds Everyday Mysteries. When winds slow, animals rain down. Some fall back into water. Unlucky ones flop onto land.
The view of airborne fish is limited. Gills collapse out of water. The sun may help map travels. In The Amazing Flight of Little Ray, it is clear fish can see in air and water.
Little Ray is a “fish out of water”. Few fish can breathe in air. A return to water gets them breathing. Lungfish have lungs and gills. They burrow for long, dry periods. They don't use their lungs to fly.
Whether racing through air or water, sharks can catch stingrays. Sharks can grab prey from shore. When heroic teamwork is needed, there is no squabbling or running away. Children join Little Ray and Shark in effort.
Sharks are not unbeatable. Pizard's GURPS Miscellanea reports Devil Rays land on beaches, then flip away. Beached sharks may die. Injured sharks are easy prey. They struggle on fishing lines and in nets.
Few accomplishments happen alone. Help may fix errors. Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up is about teamwork. Animals often work together for success and safety.
Success requires positivity, flexibility and cooperation. Little Ray may make the news for his flight record. He may protect territory or impress a mate. Dreams of flying are not impossible.
Air travels need not be self-powered. Little Ray may catch an updraft or wind stream. The albatross may hold the record for gliding around the world. Fish and bats have an electric sense to guide them.
People are smart about watching others and working together. Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution argued that plants, animals and other organisms are more likely to survive by adapting to their environment.
The history of human flight largely was inspired by birds. Observing nature brings new and improved products to everyday living. Thoughts of “can't” must turn to “can”.
The video tells how to beat odds: “The world helps those who try and try, and try and try, to fly and fly.” These words are not from the book. Illustrations and ideas are from the full story. (34 seconds)