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.
Fish are intelligent beings. They perceive their environment with strong senses. The star of this story is purposefully reactive, appropriately responsive and consciously aware of his positive and negative results.
Fish see equally well in air and water. Vision provides direction. It coordinates behaviors of fish swimming or flying as a group. Focus is needed to break down tasks for step-by-step advancement within time or space.
Little Ray plans to fly like a bird. With wing-like fins, he repeatedly hurls himself out of the water. Determination, practice and a support structure help him build confidence to overcome his fears and false starts.
Flying rays are “fish out of water”. They need water for gill and spiracle oxygen intake. 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. Their fragile gills collapse out of water. The Amazing Flight of Little Ray is appropriately one of discomfort, exhaustion, resistance, interruptions and changing circumstances.
Fish have feelings. Little Ray knows his Mama is worried. He hears strong reactions of beach-goers. External factors enhance motivation and guide awareness of progress. Success is spurred by accountability and monitoring.
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. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department discusses Warm and Cold-Blooded Animals.
Air sacs aid bird flight. Fish do not have these air-filled lung extensions. The glide path of bony flying fish extends hundreds of feet, prompting the group name “glide”. Hollow bones add strength, distance and height.
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, then start falling. Gravity makes it hard to stay airborne. Fish musculature is designed for undulating thrust to power 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 likely holds records for their energy-saving glides around the world, without constant wing flapping or landing to rest.
Sun aids fish air navigation. Fish and bats also have an electric guidance sense. Electric fields are on land and in water. Some fish produce electricity. Others sense 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 create water jets to rocket. Mammals, reptiles and amphibians use skin flaps. Phys.org news reports Spiders go Ballooning on Electric Fields and may crash into plane windshields.
Flights may be sudden. Before takeoff, stingrays and sharks may vomit. Stress may send them airborne. Splashes knock off leeches, lice, parasites and worms. Fish have no drugs to administer to themselves in the wild.
Winds lift animals. LOC holds Raining Frog Mysteries. Slowing winds drop some victims back into the water. Unlucky ones flop onto land. People may safely return these hapless beings 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 communicates the way 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)