The Amazing Flight of Little Ray
February 2019 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” 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.

Does everyone believe in flying stingrays? According to, a Harris Poll showed 36% of Americans believe in UFOs. Little Ray wants everyone to believe in “Identified Flying Stingrays”. Devil rays are not stingrays. They are stingray flying relatives that make amazing flights. Devil rays are called “flying rays”. These fish can do somersaults, flips, rolls, spins, twists and turns in the water or in the air. The flight of fish is special. They can't power themselves through the sky for long periods. Their short time in the air should motivate children to celebrate small successes.

Taking a leap out of water is common for fish. Freshwater and saltwater fish do this. Fish can fly out of oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, fountains, fish bowls and aquariums. As shown in “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”, can make short flights through the air. These flights rarely are made by a group of fish. Their example should motivate children to step apart from their peers. Stingrays and sharks may swim as a group during long travels. They fly alone. Some things are easier to do in peace and quiet. 'Flight' also means “escape”. Little Ray and Shark encourage children work alone and in groups. it is important to practice team building, leadership and communication skills.

What makes stingrays fly? It is faster and easier for fish to move through air than through water. However, the faster a fish soars, the greater drag it meets against the air. Flights may be made in search of food. Leaping into the air can help flying stingrays escape bigger animals in the water. Loud noises can send stingrays flying into the air. These amazing flights may offer an escape from something about the water that is not right. The temperature, chemistry, muddiness or the level and type of filth may bother them. Bad smells can send fish out of the water. Fish have a good sense of smell. Stinky stuff in the water could give them reason to leave. “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” proves Little Ray can act in his own defense.

Are flying fish in control of their flights? No. Fish leap out of the water and quickly reach a peak. As soon as fish stop rising, they start falling. As a result of their lack of control, flying fish of every kind have accidents. They smack into boats and other things. They hit people. Injuries caused by these out-of-control fish can be deadly. In Foot and Ankle Online Journal's Stingray Envenomation of the Foot: a Case Report, the crash landing of a stingray killed a 12-year-old boy. Flying stingrays do not have the control of birds or bats in flight. “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” may help children understand the importance of control. This short moral story may push children to get help with big goals.

What was behind Little Ray's flight? Shortly after moving to Florida, V. R. Duin watched a young stingray flying through the air and splashing back into the water. That flying stingray gave V. R. Duin her first sighting of these fish in flight. That sighting was behind “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”. That amazing, real stingray reached a flying height of about three feet (one meter) above the water. It is common for flying stingrays to soar over the water at about twice that height. The best of flying fish have long wing-like fins and streamlined bodies to soar through the air. The acrobatics of a stingray in flight are amazing. Fish may take flight for fun. These flying leaps may be a way to express themselves. They may be showing off.

How well do stingrays fly? Flying stingrays cannot yet soar as high or as far as birds, bats or the fish called “flying fish”. Flying fish can glide for hundreds of feet over the water. Because of their long flights, a group of flying fish is called a “glide”. Birds and bats are built for flight. The muscles of stingrays are not designed for flight. Birds and bats have hollow bones. Hollow bones, even when filled with marrow, add strength, distance and height to their flights. Stingrays and sharks are built with cartilage. Cartilage is flexible and better than bones at softening falls. It is too flabby to power long flights. Stingrays and sharks cannot travel the world in flight. Swimming and flying stingrays add adventure and fun to the books in Little Ray's children's book series.

How are wings used to fly? Flying stingrays take flight with fins that look like wings. Stingrays cannot use their fins like the wings of a bird or bat. Little Ray makes use of his wing-like fins to hurl himself into the air in “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”. The first step in flight is pushing off into the air. To stay in the air, it is necessary to be stronger than the downward pull of gravity. Birds and bats truly fly. Many flights are made without wings, including those of stingrays flying. Little Ray proves that nobody needs wings to beat all odds and break all limits. Goal setting, practice and perseverance are the tickets to success at school and at work.

What other animals fly without wings? Many creatures do not use wings to fly. Animals teach children about other ways to fly. 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 reports that Spiders go Ballooning on Electric Fields. Like birds and insects, ballooning spiders can catch a wind stream that carries them into boat, car or airplane windows. Squids are mollusks that shoot a jet of water to go into the air for short distances.

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, Little Ray gets a little warm-blooded help from above. He also gets encouragement from warm-blooded cheering fans on shore. Little Ray beats all odds for a cold-blooded fish in flight. He is not stopped by the fact that flying stingrays do not have the flight energy of warm-blooded birds. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department describes the difference between Warm and Cold-Blooded Animals. The best of flying creatures are warm-blooded.

Little Ray takes an amazing flight that should keep folks talking. It's not every day that a young stingray decides to fly like a bird. Little Ray may not have the power for takeoff or flight of birds. He can find lucky breaks and learn to fall with great style. In “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”, while using his mighty “wings” to hurl himself out of the water and into the sky, Little Ray gets into trouble. Before completion, sure bets often meet with meet with problems. Little Ray encourages different learning styles and ideas for change. With each effort, he gets new understandings to guide his goals. Soaring children have an advantage with problems. They have feet. Once they land on their feet, children can walk away. From life in the wild, children can learn to try things another way.

Animals can teach children to care for themselves. Whether on land, in water or flying through the air, extreme conditions are hard on all animals, including people. When under stress and before taking flight, stingrays and their shark relatives may vomit to shed their stomach contents and lighten their load. The vomit may distract large attackers, letting smaller stingrays and sharks make getaways. Taking flight may rid fish of clinging pests that attack their skin, scales and gills. Harmful parasites, leeches, lice and worms can spread from one fish to another. These pests might fall off when the host fishes splash back into their watery home. Unless fish live in an aquarium, treatment for these problem pests may not be possible.

Do fish make flight plans? The amazing flights made by flying stingrays may be sudden and unplanned. In the case of Little Ray, flight came with preparation and warm-up exercises. In “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” a lot of practice is 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 this little stingray to find new ways to face fears. Get children buzzing about fun animal facts and amazing flight possibilities. In Little Ray's Children's books, there is a lot of interesting information about stingrays flying.

Delays and difficulties may help 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 learned. The persistence of Little Ray can show children the way to stick with their goals. Rare is the goal that takes no training or struggles against unforeseen setbacks to achieve. To fly to new height, young ones often must come up new and different game plans. Fish may motivate children to take full advantage of their unique abilities. Many goals do not seem reasonable or possible, until they are reached.

Out-of-place animals may help children accept change. According to the Science Center at the Library of Congress, Everyday Mysteries happen. Among these are frogs, flying stingrays and other animals that live in the water. These animals can fall from the sky in rain. Storms may surprise them and carry them for long distances. Sometimes, they are carried for short distances. Some animals safely return to their homes in the water. Unlucky water animals land on the ground. They need help to get home. Strong winds can suck up frogs, fish and other animals living in or resting on the water. Wherever these winds lose energy, they drop these animals. On land, the flops of these animals are easy to see. On water, a telescope may be needed to watch animals flying in a waterspout or falling back into the water.

Do fish make visual flights? Unlike humans, some fish have telescopic eyes. As with humans, different fish have different levels of vision. They also have different abilities to see colors. Some fish see colors better than people. Flying stingrays may take amazing flight to get direction. They may want to see a way around obstacles. The view from above may help fish map their travel. The sun may guide their flights. 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. They cannot see as well as birds or sharks. The view of any fish from the air is limited. Few fish can live for long periods out of the water.

Water is necessary for fish. Readers of “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” know Little Ray's time in the air is not one of comfort. Little Ray gives new meaning to “fish out of water”. Fish must pump water across their gills to get oxygen. Few fish can breathe while they are in the air. A return to the water gets them back to breathing. Humans are the opposite. People need air. They can't breathe in water. The expression “like a fish out of water” shows the problems of the unknown. While fish are out of the water, their gills collapse. Lungfish have lungs in addition to gills. These fish can survive for long periods out of water. They burrow to save energy. They may be better equipped, but lungfish do not use their lungs to fly. Fish may help children learn about their special place in nature.

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. Although stingrays and sharks are relatives, they are not natural friends. Unlike stingrays, sharks hunt easily while they are in the air. Sharks have been known to launch themselves out of the water to grab prey from the shore. It is a good thing that Little Ray gets along with the shark that co-stars in his series of short moral stories. There will be no more squabbling or running away. When heroic teamwork is needed, Fish may motivate children to join in the effort.

Sharks are at the top of the ocean food chain. This is not to say that sharks are unbeatable. They have been known to strand themselves on shore. According to Pizard's GURPS Miscellanea, Devil Rays also may land on a beach during their slow, upward loops close to the ocean's surface. Flipping over a few times may put them back in the water. A shark that is on the beach for too long is sure to die. Their internal organs get crushed by their own weight when out of water. A healthy shark can be caught by an octopus. Weakened or injured sharks can fall prey to other fish or animals. Stingrays and sharks often wind up on fishing lines or get caught in fishing nets. Children may offer hope for struggling animals in the sea.

Children find guidance in Little Ray's stories. To inspire and encourage children, Little Ray promises to continue his efforts to exceed all bounds for stingrays flying. Changes in behavior often are needed for success and survival. To quit is out of the question. “The Foxy Armadillos”, from the Little Ray Children's book series, add unique possibilities. All of the stories make reading interesting, lead to new discoveries and motivate children to collect new friends. Children will see life as an exciting adventure toward success. Little Ray and his Mama Ray encourage communications about progress toward each and every goal.

Little Ray encourages dreams of flying. Someday, this flying stingray may make an amazing flight that makes the news. He might fly to protect his territory or to impress a mate. Little Ray may have his head in the clouds, but his dreams are not totally impractical. There are many ways to travel through air. Not all of them are self-powered. Few great accomplishments happen alone. Success often depends upon teamwork to fix errors along the way. In “Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up”, children experience the power of teamwork over the cowardly tactics of bullying. Animals often work together to protect one another and to care for their babies. While governments look for UFOs, Little Ray puts on real flying shows. This flying stingray takes to the air, again and again, motivating children to work for high goals.

With a little help from friends, Little Ray beat all expectations for his amazing flight. In part his success happens because, despite mishaps along the way, Little Ray stays positive, flexible and cooperative. He is a good role model for children. In the video on this page, he practices hard to break the record he set for stingrays flying in “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”. 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 grit for the push to reach goals at school and at work.

Little Ray does not have the air sac that helps a bird in flight. However, this little stingray might catch an updraft or stream of wind to carry him beyond the record he set for stingrays flying. “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” was successful. His goal is to exceed the bounds and achieve the flying efficiency of the world's greatest of flying stingrays, bats and birds. There are other examples of successful flight. An albatross travels at great speed, while gliding around the world. It does this without landing or constantly flapping its wings. Sometimes, it is necessary to save energy. Little Ray's cousin, the bat ray, also is a good flier. Fish and bats have an extra electric sense to guide them. Adults and children will find something “electric” about Little Ray's goals and his special ways to success.

Children can make amazing flight with Little Ray. There is no reason why 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 animals from land and sea. Penguins cannot fly, but they do well in the water and on land. Animals are very smart about watching others and working together to beat problems. 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. Success may happen with help from others. Thoughts of “can't” must be turned to “can” for things to happen. Waiting for approval from others may stop work.

The words in the video remind us to try against all odds: “The world helps those who try and try, and try and try, to fly and fly.” These words are not from “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”. Illustrations and the ideas are from this book. In the book, Little Ray is more than a little bored with his humdrum ocean. So, he hatches a fine fancy to fly like a bird. Watch Little Ray take his difficult plan to the sky. With a skip and a jump and a little luck, he will soar into the great unknown. It will prove to be the ride of a lifetime. Once he's in air, Little Ray learns that getting home safely might not be easy. A problem stops him from just dropping back into the sea. It will take a little planning and a little luck to make his splish-splashy homecoming. Hurray for Little Ray! This stingray teaches kids how to fly with their goals. (34 seconds)


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 shows children how to prepare for a better future with the skills, habits and confidence earned through practice.

    • amazing flightLittle Ray says:

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