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    “ Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world....
    for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!
    — William Butler Yeats

    Voyager slipped into the silky wrens’ wings as though they had been made for him, as though the legs he had been born with, which carried him everywhere, were but mere appendages, useless once airborne. He circled above the Blackthorn bushes, than the Willows, giant Oaks, Hawthorns and Hazelwood. Closing his eyes, he kept climbing higher and higher.

    When he finally opened his eyes and looked down he felt dizzy, the horizon line kept tilting this way and that. There were no familiar landmarks, the forest now swallowed up by jagged craegs & carpets of green lichen, bleu-grey gleys stretching to the Lochs.

    He thought he could see his Damselfly friend beneath him, her silvery wings darting about in a frantic Z formation.“Voyager, come back! You are rising too quickly; you must use the wind’s shoulders to lift you.”

    But her words could not reach the soaring dog. Voyager was happier than he had ever been. He was no longer earthbound--released from his own flesh and bones, he entered the spirit realm. He was now a magical creature of flight. He could go anywhere, following the sun, the curves of the horizon. A castle in the sky could be his home. He flapped his wings harder, climbing the sky’s ladder... Rock Doves and Merlins were now flying alongside him. They seemed to be nodding their heads in approval and daring him to ascend to even greater heights.

    Smiling to himself, he closed his eyes, then heard Una shrieking inside his brain, “Raise your nose, look up Voyager!” Instead he looked down again and saw the Croftlands, with their Trotternish hay meadows, Zigzag clover, Sneezewort and Cuckoo flowers. Where oh where had his new wings taken him?

    Voyager now saw Una, a tiny pulsating speck alight upon Castle Ewen, the tower at Faerie Glen near Uig. Cassandra had once told him of the “Comhairle of the Underworld”, which met each year at the Glen in Midsummer. The faerie clans assembled along with the other immortals: elves, gnomes and brownies. Broken spells were mended and repaired, alliances forged and disputes settled. Great tales of valor and bedevilment were spun around tiny fires under moonlight –it was where it all began, “Once upon a time” ….

    …the plummeting dog put his nose up--too late--falling more quickly than he had risen, legs churning wildly, blood began to spurt from his nose. He took big gulps of air, the majestic wings frozen at his side. There was an orange haze forming behind his eyes, then blackness descended, and he had not even one last thought, just the acrid smell of feathers burning in his nostrils. Soon he would be part of the earth again.

    Voyager suddenly felt a sharp pain in each shoulder blade. Still aloft, but how could it be? He saw patches of blue ahead of him and the mountainous landscape of Cuillin below. Something or someone was carrying him… The exhausted dog weakly raised his head and saw massive wings like giant shadows in the sky above him. He knew at once it was “Iiolare suil na greine”, Eagle of the Sunlit Eye, the Sea Eagle of Cuillin. The two-leggeds called him “Taliesin the Great”.

    Terrified as he was Voyager knew there was no point in struggling, soon he expected Taliesin would drop his puny body upon the jagged rocks & tear his flesh to pieces. Voyager began to count his many regrets, not the least of which was never having obtained the shape shifting collar, or finding “the Plain of Happiness”. Add to that not seeing Una one last time and finally, having missed breakfast yet once again,Voyager began to whimper softly.

    Then the giant gold beak opened and a voice as rich and deep as the God of Thunder, rumbled, “so on top of your incompetence and scaring everyone out of the sky around here, you’re going to add self-pity to the mix”?

    Startled, Voyager’s muzzle snapped shut. “That’s a good lad, now listen to me or you will end up as fishfood at the bottom of the sea. Tuck your legs up, all four of ‘em. Like your little damsel pal tried to tell you, ‘keep your nose up’. You’ve to to counterbalance yourself or you’ll stall out just as you did moments ago. You have to pay attention -- do not look down at where you are, rather fasten your gaze on where you want to be, then your wings and your body will naturally follow your eyes and spirit. Have you got that?”

    Voyager nodded his head and barked “yes” very softly. “I’m going to let you go now, I think you can make it on your own”, Tailesin said gently. “But, but, but, where am I now?,” sputtered the reagitated dog.

    “We are flying over ‘The Land of Tears’: follow the rivers and the streams, find the one river that flows backwards and track it to its source. You must have courage. If you falter or cry you will drown in your own tears. Remember who you are and you will never be lost.”

    And with that Tailesin released Voyager from his talons, spread his gracious wings and disappeared behind the clouds.

    “Courage is the price that life extracts for granting peace.

    The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things.

    Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,

    Nor mountain heights, where bitter joy can hear

    The sound of wings.”  


    — Amelia Earhart

    November 30, 2015, 8:30 am
    As I understand it, there were iectdnnis where one car that was out of control rode up on top of another car. I don't know about you, but I don't think I'd want to look up and see the undercarriage of a car coming down on top of my head. For this reason, FIA mandated the lower nose.However, I don't think it was necessary to go with the stepped nose route as all but one team has done. I personally believe that there could have been a smoother way to achieve the FIA's goal (and, in fact, one team did achieve that goal in that fashion). -4Was this answer helpful?
    December 12, 2009, 12:48 pm
    ah! now that's some magical story...such a beautiful journey, terrific imagery... just love it !
    November 29, 2009, 5:56 pm
    Your writing is so beautiful.
    November 12, 2009, 11:05 pm
    For some strange reason I can not read this without crying.

    Your Husband
    November 11, 2009, 3:37 am
    thank you for this wonderful story. Please keep writing we love it
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    About the author

    R.A. Martin is a lover of four-legged creatures and a psycho-geographer in the age of sensible shoes, exploring the hidden passageways, nooks & crannies & abandoned corners of the natural and urban landscape. Read More »

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