Once there was a girl who had a beautiful pair of wings. But only when she was dreaming.
This girl lived with her Great Tribe Family in a beautiful forest filled with trees and animals and sunlight. But she did not care because she was awake.
Every day the girl could not wait for night to come so she could crawl into bed and close her eyes. The moment she was asleep the girl would open her dream eyes and and look around. She would find herself standing in a dream forest. It looked so real that the girl would sometimes wonder if she was still awake. But then she would feel a tingling in her shoulder blades. And she would look over her shoulder and there they would be.
They were beautiful. You could see them and you could see through them, they were that fine. They were made out of light but they moved like water, like they had been poured into the air from a bowl of moonlight.
And just the way your feet will sometimes say to you, "Dance! Dance!" Her wings would say to her, "Fly! Fly!"
The girl would leap into the air and she would fly all night long, high above the dream trees, even the oldest, tallest dream trees. She would fly so high that her beautiful wings would brush against the clouds.
"I am never going to wake up," the girl would think. "I am never going to stop flying."
But then morning would come. And every morning the birds of the forest would sing to the sun.
"Wake up, wake up, Golden One. Wake up and light the day."
Those birds were so loud the girl could hear them all the way in her dream. They were so loud that the girl would close her dream eyes and open her real eyes. She would find herself back in her mother's hut. She would hop out of bed and look over her shoulder. And her wings would be gone.
Then the girl would frown.
Some people have a really big smile.
The girl had a really, really big frown.
Her frown was so big the Great Tribe Family gave the girl a new name to go with it. Because in the forest names are like stories, they tell all about you. So people started calling her, The Girl Who Wears A Really, Really Cranky Look Upon Her Face.
Soon they shortened it to Cranky Face.
One morning Cranky Face hopped out of bed as usual, looked over her shoulder as usual, and saw that her wings were gone. As usual. But this time Cranky Face decided that she'd had enough. She climbed back into bed, crossed her arms over her chest and thought, "I am not getting of this bed until my wings grow back."
Soon her mother came looking for her. "Cranky Face, why are you still in bed? Are you ill?"
"No," said Cranky Face."
"Are you tired?"
"No," said Cranky Face."
"Have your feet forgotten how to walk?"
"No, they have not," said Cranky Face. "But I will not get out of bed."
And she closed her eyes to prove it.
Cranky Face's mother was very busy. She was also very smart. She thought, why spend half the day arguing with a stubborn child, when there was a perfectly good chief running the tribe who could do it for her.
So Cranky Face's mother left Cranky Face lying in her bed and went looking. Soon she returned with the chief of the Great Tribe Family.
The Chief sat down beside the bed. "Cranky Face, my child," he said. "Day has started. Why are you still in bed?"
"Because," said Cranky Face, "I am not getting out of this bed until my wings grow back."
"Stop!" cried the chief. "I've heard enough! Until your wings grow back? What sort of childish nonsense is this? Get out of bed right now!"
"No," said Cranky Face. "I will not."
And she closed her eyes to prove it.
"Get the medicine man," said the chief. "This one is too big for me."
So Cranky Face's mother left Cranky Face lying in her bed and the chief sitting beside it and went looking. Soon she returned with the medicine man of the Great Tribe Family.
The medicine man sat down beside the bed. "Craaaanky Face, my girl," he cooo'ed. "Why are you still in bed? Has a naughty little spirit got a hold of yoooooooou?"
"Nooooooope," said Cranky Face. "I'm just waiting for my wings to grooooooow back."
"Stop!" cried the medicine man. "I've heard enough! For your wings to grow back? What girlish gibberish is this? Get out of bed this instant!"
"No way," said Cranky Face. And she closed her eyes to prove it.
"Now what?" said the chief.
"Don't look at me," said the medicine man.
Just then a voice called from outside the hut, "May I come in?"
Everyone in the hut looked at each other, even Cranky Face. It was the The Oldest Woman of the Great Tribe Family.
"What have we got to lose," said the medicine man, nervously.
"Sure, come on in," said the chief. The Oldest Woman always made him uncomfortable. Because she was so old. And so comfortable.
The Oldest Woman slowly entered the hut and sat down beside the bed.
Cranky Face looked down shyly.
"Cranky Face my friend," said The Oldest Woman. "I have been listening through the wall. Tell me about your wings."
"Well," said Cranky Face, in a soft, sad little voice. "They're made of light and they move like water. But I only have them when I'm dreaming. "
"Oh, don't stop!" laughed The Oldest Woman. "What a wonderful tale. I have not heard enough."
"Well," said Cranky Face. And her voice grew a little louder. "They also are so strong I can fly faster than an owl and higher than a hawk."
The chief perked up. "Faster than an owl and higher then a hawk, you say? What an exciting thought. I would like to hear more, Not So Cranky Face."
"Well," said Cranky Face. And she hopped out of bed and started moving her arms as if she were flying. "My wings are so wise that they can carry me across the Hidden Sea to the land where secrets grown on trees like fruit.
"You went there!" gasped medicine man. "I must hear more! Oh, please don't stop your story, Dream Wings."
"And please talk louder," called a voice from outside the hut.
"Yes, come outside so we can hear you better, Dream Wings," said another voice.
The girl stepped outside and saw that all of her Great Tribe Family had gathered around the hut to listen. To listen to her!
She felt herself start to smile.
Well, after that the girl could not wait to wake up in the morning. But instead of looking over her shoulder to see if her wings were still there, she would look inside herself to see if her dreams were still there.
They always were.
And then Dream Wings would leap out of the hut with a big smile on her face, ready to tell her people another story about her beautiful wings. How they were made out of light and moved like water. How they were strong and wise. How you could see them and see through them. How they had been poured into the air from a bowl of moonlight.
And no matter how long the day was Dream Wings never missed her wings again. Because now she knew what the oldest woman knew. Now she knew how to share her dreams.