If You Teach A Bird To Jump


If you teach a bird to jump, she’ll want to try hopping next. One sunny morning, Baby Bird was flapping her new feathers when Mama Bird landed on the edge of the nest. In her beak was a fat, wiggly worm.

“Here’s breakfast, little one!” she chirped before gulping down her own worm. Baby Bird stretched her wings out wide and wobbled to the rim beside Mama. She peeked down—whoa! They were so high off the ground!

Jumping from this nest would be scary. But eating that yummy worm would mean conquering her fear. Baby Bird bounced twice to gain courage, then sprang into her first-ever flight!

She soared straight down, the wind whistling through her feathers. “I’m flying!” she squeaked just before crashing smack into the grass. Oof!

She lay there stunned until Mama Bird fluttered down beside her. “My dear, you must learn to land softly,” she cooed gently. She showed Baby Bird how to catch air in her wings to glide gracefully downward instead of nose-diving crash-style.

After a few tries, Baby Bird floated featherlight onto a flower before snatching up her worm treat. Mastering jumping from the nest makes tackling new adventures seem easy!

The very next morning, when Mama Bird left for breakfast, Baby Bird decided she would hop all the way to the meadow on her own instead of flying everywhere. She wiggled her yellow toes and took a deep breath.

“Here I go—hope, hop, happily hop!” she whispered, bounding across the grass and into the field beyond. The long grass made it tough going, but she persisted, bouncing tirelessly toward distant flowers and trees. Breathless but proud, Baby Bird arrived just as Mama soared down beside her clutching an enormous purple bug.

“Darling, look here; it’s your favorite flavor!” she said, crunching happily. “But, however, did you reach this field without flying?”

Baby Bird declared she was becoming quite an accomplished hopper, though her haunches were now a bit sore. “It’s fun trying new ways to move,” she peeped while nibbling her juicy treat. Even bouncing instead of flying had tasty rewards!

The next morning, when Mama Bird left the nest, Baby Bird attempted another method of travel. Since she’d successfully jumped her first flight and then hopped the whole way to the meadow, what new transportation feat could she try next?

Hmm…she spied busy lizards darting around, using their strong hind legs to zip here and there. Running on two feet seemed speedy and challenging. Perfect! She’d try sprinting like a scaly reptile today!

Down Baby Bird climbed from the tree, wobbling at first upright on her skinny bird legs. This felt quite unnatural! But off she scurried, moving faster and faster until ZOOM—she was tearing up a storm!

Hairpin’s turns and leaps over rocks kept her laughing hysterically. She felt braver than the teeniest mouse! But suddenly, bam! Halting to catch her breath, Baby Bird smashed beak-first right smack into the trunk of an ancient tree.

“My poor snout!” she wailed, little stars circling around her noggin. Mama Bird, of course, came rushing over when she heard the collision.

“Sweetheart, why ever were you running like that? Flying feels far more natural for birds like us,” she gently asked while nuzzling Baby Bird’s sore pecker and adjusting the bent feathers now sticking up every which way all over her head.

“Oh Mama, I was just trying to dash on two talons for fun like our backyard lizard friends,” peeped Baby Bird. “But I think flapping wings suit a bird best after all!”

So Baby Bird decided there were no more wacky ground transportation schemes for her! She’d stick to breezy flying from now on versus further feats of hopping or sprinting. Her poor beak needed a break after bumping that tree trunk quite roughly!

But our quirky Baby Bird couldn’t resist one final experiment in motion. If jumping, then bounding, then running didn’t go completely smoothly, what mode might she finally master?

The answer came flitting by in the form of glorious butterflies drifting on the sweet flower-scented summer breeze. Of course! Gliding gracefully through the air by floating instead of flapping looked simply delightful!

So the very next sunny midday, when gusty winds were blowing, Baby Bird scurried to the tallest hilltop she could find. Mama Bird had gone off on her own berry hunting adventure already. This left Baby Bird’s schedule blissfully free for attempting her next bout of DIY transportation trial and error all on her own!

Standing tall at the steep summit, our brave bird peered down the scrubby slope, wondering if she in fact had the courage to take the giant leap such solo gliding required.

There is only one way to find out! With whiskers quivering, she shut her eyes tight and jumped as high and far from the ledge as her spindly legs allowed. She then opened her wings to catch the wind, just like watching those colorful floating butterflies always inspired.

“Wheeeee!” Baby Bird squealed joyfully. It worked—no flapping was necessary! The strong gusts filled her feathered sleeves, allowing a smooth descent down, down, down with no bumps or troubles at all.

Guiding herself gently left, then right, using just subtle shifts in her wing angles and tail tilts, Baby Bird swooped weightlessly above the meadow before finally landing daintily as she could atop a tall tulip blossom.

“I DID IT—I’m gliding gorgeously, just like a vibrant butterfly!” trilled our successfully sailing bird. Mama Bird popped out from the bushes nearby just in time to observe her ingenious baby bird mastering this magnificent glide all solo!

“Marvelous work, darling! Perhaps you’ve found your true calling floating on the wind after all,” she sang proudly, watching her descend onto the branch beside her for a post-adventure snuggle.

“It sure was fun trying totally new ways to get around,” chirped a tuckered-out Baby Bird between happy beak kisses. “But wow, soaring gracefully through the breeze feels fabulous! I’ll leave hopping and dashing to others and focus on fabulous gliding from here on out.”

Then the duo fluttered off for a special snack to celebrate Baby Bird’s triumphal flight, mighty leap, successful sprint, and most impressively, her wondrous wind-powered glide. That tiny bird sure knows how to spread her wings and soar beyond her species’ limits! But for now she’s pooped and more than pleased to relax with Mama and give her weary wings a well-deserved rest. Gliding galore can continue on the next sunny, gusty day!

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