Jonathan Livingston Seagull written by Richard Bach

Look up in the sky. Do you see that bird soaring through the air? That bird wasn’t born flying so beautifully. He spends hours a day practicing, trying to get his angle of attack just right. Trying not to be clumsy. Must be graceful. Jonathon Livingston Seagull told me that.

You see, seagulls did not always soar. They were not put here for that purpose. Or at least that is what they thought until Jonathon Livingston Seagull straightened them out. At one time seagulls did not fly except for food. And even then they darted down toward the ocean as fast as they could, snatched up their prey and came back up again. They went to school to be taught to be the best and fastest fish hunters. Jonathon Livingston Seagull was not interested in darting fast and being otherwise grounded. He saw more in his wings than just hunting tools. He saw beauty in the big open sky, a beauty that made him want to soar. Jonathon spent his free time secretly practicing to coast gracefully and learning the laws of flight. He learned about stalls and spins. He learned the perfect attitudes and banks for a level flight. And he even figured out how to stay in flight using only minimum airspeed. All this through trial and error, of course. But this behavior was not acceptable in the seagull society. seagulls were to hunt food and that was all. Flying for fun was a foolish thing to do. Jonathon refused to stop and was banished from seagull society. He continued his quest for perfect flight. Eventually other young birds defiantly found him and asked him to teach them to fly. It began a new generation of flyers. Eventually, the older generation died off and eloquent flying was the accepted way of the seagul. Sometimes it takes the pains and determination of one brave soul to lead the way.

Madison Morrison