Read by Trish Rowland
Aerial was the first to hatch. She was always first at everything. Ernie tried to keep up with her but he always came in second. He worried he might never be as good as his sister.
The day he feared the most had come at last.
Today Aerial stood at the edge of their nest. She opened her wings into the wind. Soon she was flying high above Winter Wind Mountain.
How beautiful she looked as she soared through the sky.
Their father, a strong sea eagle, looked down at Ernie. He asked, “Why are you still sitting in the nest?” He didn’t wait for Ernie to reply. He called to Aerial, “Good flying. Fly with me to the Sugar Sea and we will go fishing together.”
Ernie watched them fly from the high cliff. He was afraid to look down to the dark blue sea waters below. The sea eagles built their nests so high that even wolves and bears could not reach them. He felt safe in their large nest made of branches, grass, and seaweed.
A few days went by and Aerial became an even better flyer. Soon she was bringing fish back to the nest. Their mother and father were so proud of her.
Her father said, “Aerial, you are such a fast learner. You may be the best flyer of all the young eagles.”
Then he looked down at Ernie. He asked, “What about you? When are you going to fly? Why can’t you be more like your sister?”
Ernie loved his sister. They had always been best friends.
The next day Aerial said, “I’m going fishing. Flying is easy. Just don’t look down. You have to learn to catch your own food.”
She teased, “Come on Ernie! Why don’t you go fishing with me? Are you a sea eagle or a chicken?”
Ernie sat in the nest and hung his head as she flew away. His mother said, “You don’t need to worry. Let me tell you a few things you don’t know about your family. You come from a long line of great sea eagles.”
Ernie sat by his mother and asked, “Were they all good flyers?”
She said, “Yes, they were great flyers. Ernie, know this to be true. You were born to fly. Don’t be afraid. Face your fear and have faith in yourself. Just open your wings and take a leap. The wind will do the rest.”
Now Ernie was feeling much better. He asked, “What else can you tell me?”
His mother said, “Sea eagles are proud and strong birds. Some people want our black and white feathers for good health. Some think our night calls warn of danger. Others believe eagles are ‘King of the Birds’ and can slay snakes and dragons.”
Ernie knew the part about snakes was true. His father sometimes brought home snakes to eat. He wasn’t so sure about the dragons.
His mother said, “Practice makes perfect. The more you fly, the better you will get. I have faith in you. I know you can fly! And when you fly, circle high above our nest and call to me.”
Ernie knew his mother was very wise. He sat by the edge of the nest and looked straight ahead. He thought, “Don’t look down!
Now Ernie was ready. He said out loud, “I can fly. I can fly. I can fly!” He felt the strong wind on his face. Ernie opened his wings wide and leaned forward. He felt the wind under his wings lift him up from the nest.
With one leap, Ernie was gliding through the air. He flapped his wings. Soon he was flying so high he felt like he could reach out and touch the sun. He flew low over the Secret Spring Meadow and high above the Sugar Sea. He looked down and saw boats enter the bay to the village of Red Haven. Breakers Island was beautiful!
Ernie was so happy he could fly. His mother was filled with pride as she heard him honk as he flew over their nest. Then he was on his way to find Aerial. It was time to go fishing with his sister.
Don’t be afraid. Face your fear and have faith in yourself.