Stay close, children, and I will recount to you a story that will serve you well in your lives. The sun is drawing to an end now, and I know I will not see it rise as I used to.
When I first became an adult, I wanted to fly. To begin with, I was in shambles, and could not go far without having to stop. Still, I wasn't satisfied staying in one place, so if I couldn't fly, I would walk. So I did. This was my existence for a… a while. Walking. I know now, with the benefit of age, that it wasn't a long time; but a felt like a whole life in and of itself. It was a simple, but maybe, boring existence. It was during my latter years that things really started to… to become more free.
When I underwent the change and my wings started working as they damn well should have from the start, I was able to make proper use of my life. It was… magnificent. I could fly and fly and see, unrestrictedly, the entire world! And the things I saw! In the far, far distance, were the pale and faded shapes of huge giants, a hundred times my size, and a thousand yours. I made towards the nearest one, and made it my ultimate goal for the period. I wanted to see one of these things up close.
It was such an odd creature. Its surface was coated in these thick hairs, like the things at end of my body, but magnified tenfold. Behind these, I could see its skin. Pale, almost white. From where I landed on the thing, I could see this surface continue for some distance. From the left, at least. When I turned myself to look right, I saw it had moved its face to turn and look at me.
I was both terrified and struck dumb by its beauty. Its eyes were almost the size of my body, with black in the centre and brown outside it, with white outside that. They were set into the middle of its face, and flat, and its mouth extended twice my span in front of it. It breathed out, and I was blown off its body, taking to the air again. Looking back, I saw it gradually open and close its mouth, producing a clicking sound, after which it slowly move its head back.
I moved on, satisfied with having seen enough, and began flying away. I passed many things as I did: a complicated, cold, meshed, shiny-grey box; a soft, torn thing, that looked a little like that creature I encountered so long ago, but tiny and unmoving. There was also a sort of cylindrical monument, constructed of a similar material to the mesh, but instead made into a sort of continuous, uneven surface. The thing was dented and hilly, but still had a surface like water. It made me think of the pond I was born in.
I was definitely, by that time, in my twilight hours. It was then that I encountered your father and reproduced. That's where this story ends. Your father died before the day was out, so now it’s just me.
The sun has set now, and my wings are tired. I know I can’t ever fly again. You’re going to see many nights and days beyond the surface of the water before you go into adulthood, but when your juvenility ends, you’ll realise how precious they are. It’s a shame I won’t live to see you hatch. You’ll do fine without me, though, as I did without my mother. And my mother, presumably, did without hers.
I’m going to die in a few minutes, so I still have a bit left. You have such little time in which to fly freely, children. Please… please use it well.