The Amazing Flight of Little Ray
February 2017 by V. R. Duin


Little Ray heard, “What's that, Mommy?”
“It's a pancake shark, my little Tommy.”
“ If it's a shark, why can't it get away?”
“ Maybe it can't figure out the way.”
(“The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”)

“The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”, from a series of short moral stories for children, makes an example of flying stingrays to help children establish patterns of goal setting and practicing to achieve the most lofty of goals.

A 2013 Harris Poll showed that only 36% of Americans believe in UFOs. Little Ray wants everyone to believe in Identified Flying Stingrays. Taking a leap out of the water is common among fish, including those in fish ponds, fish bowls or aquariums. Most fish can jump out of the water and hurl themselves through the air. Flying fish can glide for hundreds of feet over the water surface. It is faster and more energy saving for fish to move through air than through water. However, they rarely are in control of their flight motion.

Shortly after moving to Florida, V. R. Duin watched a flying stingray soar through the air and splash back into the water. This sighting inspired “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” in a series of short moral stories for children. Stingrays have fins that look like wings. Little Ray is bound and determined to become a flying stingray with full flight control. Much as stingrays make use of fins to fly, some animals can soar great distances using flight membranes, such as skin flaps. Among these are mammals like flying squirrels, reptiles like flying geckos, amphibians like flying frogs and arthropods like ballooning spiders. Oceanic squid are mollusks that shoot a jet of water to propel themselves into the air.

Leaving the water can help flying stingrays evade capture by bigger fish or other predators in the water. These flights may afford relief from something about the water that is not be right, such as the temperature or the level and type of water contaminants. A fish may take amazing flight for visual orientation or navigation. The view from above may help fish map their migration routes. Fish can see in air and in water. However, limiting their time in the air is the fact that few fish can breathe in the air. While they are out of the water, their gills collapse. Jumping out of the water can be useful to rid fish of parasites.

Flying stingrays may take flight for fun. Perhaps, they are even showing off. Like stingrays, sharks can hurl themselves through the air. Sharks also can catch stingrays, so it is a good thing that Little Ray gets along with the shark that co-stars in “Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up”, the second seafaring adventure in Little Ray's series of short moral stories for children. Each of the books in Little Ray's children's book series contains subtle lessons that will get children buzzing about fun facts. In “Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up”, children also experience the power of teamwork over the cut-throat tactics of bullying.

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. As comes naturally, Little Ray uses his bravery and cunning to make a safe return to his home at sea. Someday, this flying stingray may make an amazing flight that becomes newsworthy. He might even impress a mate. For now, let's just be glad that Little Ray still can practice his flying leaps. Perhaps flying stingrays cannot yet soar as high as birds or glide the distance of other flying fish, but Little Ray can teach children a lot about goal setting and practicing to achieve their most lofty of goals. With a little help from friends, Little Ray certainly beat all expectations for his amazing flight.

Keep watching as little ray tries to break the record he set for flying stingrays. This little stingray is sure to take to the air, again and again. An albatross travels at great speed and can glide around the world without landing and without constant flapping of its wings. Little Ray hopes to catch an updraft and a stream of wind that will help him keep exceeding the bounds of the world's greatest of flying stingrays. Is there any reason why flying stingrays cannot glide around the world like albatrosses?

  • Why do Rays Leap through the Air?

    • Flying Stingrays admin says:

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

    • Amazing Flight admin says:

      Mama Ray allowed Little Ray to prepare for a better future with the skills, habits and confidence earned in amazing flight.

      • short moral stories for childrenadmin says:

        In Little Ray's short moral stories for children, it takes a luck, ingenuity, and help from others to soar to great height.