Long ago, in a dense forest, there lived a hungry dinosaur who wandered the forest every day in search of food. Over time the dinosaur came to know the forest very well, he knew where the food was and also where to hide from danger, so he grew tall and strong. One day the dinosaur was searching for food in all of his regular places, but on this particular day he wasn’t able to find enough to satisfy his hunger. Perhaps he’d grown so big as to need to look beyond the forest in which he'd grown up. Thus the dinosaur made his way to the edge of the forest, where the tall and dense trees gave way to clear blue sky.
The dinosaur had never seen the sky before. It had always been hidden by a leafy canopy, and he stood still before it, marveling at the great expanse of blue. It was then that he noticed the great ball of fire, so great and so fiery it was that the dinosaur couldn’t believe his eyes. He determined to retrieve the ball of fire and take it back to his home in the forest. He needed to figure out a way to get it, and his first idea was to climb a tall tree on the edge of the forest. At the top of the tree the dinosaur reached out his hands as far as he could, but he didn’t seem to be any closer to the ball of fire, and he lost his balance and fell to the ground.
A little bruised but undeterred the dinosaur tried something else. He watched the ball of fire for several days and noticed that it was closest to the ground in the early hours of the morning and furthest from the ground in the middle of the day. So he decided to lay in wait through the night, and at first sight of the ball he’d rush to retrieve it from the horizon. That night the dinosaur lay in wait and at the first sight of the ball he ran as fast as he could in its direction. But too his dismay the ball appeared to rush away from him the closer he got, until eventually he was exhausted, and it was once again far away.
Nevertheless the dinosaur persisted. This time he devised a plan that required many days of dedicated practice, one he was sure would work. He got the idea from a dragonfly, which at the time had landed on his nose. The dragonfly had wings and the dinosaur noticed they were shaped like leaves and could be used to climb the air. So he found two branches full of broad leaves and held one in each hand, then he practiced flapping them with all his might.
Every day the dinosaur practiced. Progress was slow. The muscles in his arms were not used to the effort, and he became tired. But he did not give up. Instead he continued to practice for a very long time. Some say he practiced for many thousands of years, until one day he was ready. Then he climbed to the top of a tall tree in the early hours of the morning. At first sight of the ball of fire he flapped his branches with all his might and leapt as high as he could from the tree! Sure enough, the dinosaur managed to fly, and in that moment he became a bird.
It turns out that even once able to fly, the ball of fire continued to elude retrieval by the dinosaur who became a bird. And to this day it remains unclear whether birds are working on the same problem. Only one thing is for sure, and that thing is this: for those on the ground determined to reach things impossibly high, failure is all but guaranteed. But that doesn’t mean you won’t learn to fly.