When My Beak Touched Stone
Here is where all the dive-Eyries, at least all the dive-Eyries I know, live. It’s a wonderful place, surrounded by small mountains, encircling us in a sphere of awe. There are plants at the base of the mountain, shimmering plants. Closer to us is the light green, soft carpet of grass, swaying in the wind. The small mountains, even through they were small, towered above us. But in the middle of the circle, surrounded by those small mountains, is a great shining stone of moonlight. It glows even in the day, but perhaps the most important thing about this great stone is the competition around it, with my fellows flapping their wings to a height, folding their wings and dropping down, down, only to suddenly change their direction, safely avoiding smashing into the rock, and upon barely surviving the fall, they ascend into the sky and drop again. Green wings, yellow wings, blue wings, red wings, all flapping towards that stone. Through I have been told the color of one’s feathers are unimportant, my own feathers were a dashing shade of yellow that quivered in the breeze.
But more importantly, that stone---that stone of cascading silver-----is what my fellow Eyries’ lives revolved around.
I flapped high above the ground, soared on a current of air, then dived. My wings were greased with crushed shimmering plant, because some of us believed that would help us touch the stone. My fellow dive-Eyries wanted so badly to be able to touch that stone while plummeting towards it, they would believe anything. Some slept in a patch of plants, some did special exercises, some ate weeds, some tied their tails together, some devoured soil for four days (some Neopians do it for much longer, but my fellows think dirt tastes nasty, and therefore could only eat it for up to four days). In short, they were desperate to become a Silver Eyrie.
They swarmed above it, sometimes trying vastly different techniques. What they tried to do---what I succeeded in doing----was try to turn into something else, something like us but slightly different----to turn into a Silver Eyrie without a magical paintbrush. It may sound weird to some of you, but to us—it was what every one of us alive wanted to do, I think.
I ran my beak through another Eyrie’s feathers; they possessed dazzling red ones. The soft zipping sound I heard with my good Eyrie hearing seemed to taunt me, as it was so similar to the sound of crushed shimmering plant being put on an Eyrie’s feathers. What prevents me from doing it? I pondered. Was it a lack of self-confidence? Was I simply not flying correctly? Did some powerful magic-using Neopets prevent us all from reaching our goals? I chewed over all the thoughts of mine----in case you didn’t know, that meant I thought all my thoughts over and over and pondered their meaning, basically chewing them again and again like a Kau. But it seemed to me like my thoughts were chewing me.
After I was finished cleaning the other Eyrie’s feathers, I shuffled my own to make them wet. You see, my fellows preen in the river, shaped like a ring and near the patches of shimmering plant. Yes, it’s possible you wonder exactly what the real name of the plant I keep on talking about is. The answer is I really don’t know. Anyway, I washed all the plant residue off my feathers. I saw a bunch of other Eyries of various colors, all shining in the sun, getting the shimmering plant and crushing it. I walked over to them and told them it didn’t work, that I tried and I failed.
But one of them, a muscular green-feathered one, said they were not rubbing it on their feathers. They said they would dig a hole and put the crushed plant inside and then let it ferment, and then eat it. Like me, they wanted to become a Silver Eyrie. We craved becoming a Silver Eyrie so much that we did the most outrageous of things. With my beak, I got a bunch of the shimmering plant too. I followed the plan and ate the light-green colored remains. I tasted bitter, then terribly sour, then sweet, before my saliva made it dissolve. But I soon discovered however interesting its taste might have been, it worked as well as the plan before it.
Both plans accomplished absolutely nothing.
One day I refrained from trying to dive down to the stone. I saw them all trying to do it. I shook my head. A waste of energy, I told myself. A terrible sheer waste of energy. But I knew that diving to the stone was a part of me. If I denied that, I denied myself. I had knowledge on what the Eyries really looked for, or so I thought. But I would rather hide under the illusion about my fellows then look at the raw truth.
It felt so refreshing, like your first dive into a pool. I embraced who I was, I thought then. But I still swerved to the side at the last second. I was still a regular Eyrie. Before the day was over, I plummeted for the stone, over and over, until I collapsed on the grass, energy spent. I was panting; I was exhausted. But as soon as I could, I quickly jumped on my hind legs for the sky. Clouds approached as misty specters of silver----Like the moonlight stone! I told myself. But not every Eyrie thought of this as a good thing. They all headed to our huge nest. And when sunset came, I was finally forced to abandon the moonlight stone and sleep. The clouds were there for a long time, and there was eventually so many of them we had to stay in the nest all day, but all of us were rather agitated and staring longingly at the huge moonlight stone.
One night, I watched the stone glow, a twin moon, especially in comparison to the actual moon, Kreludor, right above. The moon sent light down upon the stone, and it looked like the stone sent light as well, until it looked like a silly illusion, in which the combined light was a blizzard with the outline of a dive-Eyrie, dropping down to the very center of the stone, and turning into the form, the one we all wanted to turn into. All other dive Eyries were asleep at that time, except me. Most likely they were dreaming of accomplishing their goal, which was the same as mine.
Finally my curiosity, perhaps something completely different, got the better of me. Without a sound I crawled out of the comfy nest I shared with my fellows, and then I flew high above the stone, higher than I had ever done before. I folded my wings and plummeted down below.
I could feel the wind passing by, and my eyes were half-shut, either to protect me from the wind or because I was sleepy, I do not know. Memories of doing the same move came about in my mind. All unsuccessful, so why should this be any different? I wondered.
The moonlight enwrapped me as I fell, and when my beak touched stone, I felt no pain at all. Just the strangest, indescribable (well, if I can say strange along with it, perhaps it’s not truly indescribable, but you get the point) feeling. The sun appeared, and my silvery cloak of moonlight evaporated into the sky, revealing wing-feathers that shone slightly, a larger, more powerful Eyrie, and most important of all---a beak of moonlight-stone.
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