Next I found myself breaking out of a large egg in a nest hidden near a pond. Above me was the warm body of my mother. Beside me were my brother and sister ducklings. Instead of fins, I had webbed feet and wings with hundreds of feathers that kept me warm and dry. My mouth had become a broad beak, and I could make some pretty good squawks and quacks.
When I stood on my wobbly little legs, I found I had turned so now I was nearly upright. We all waddled after our mother to the water’s edge, where we jumped in and started to swim. I spent most of my days swimming across the pond, nibbling on the plants and creatures that I used to be.
In the next dream, I was a baby robin in a nest high up in a tree. My nest mates and I chirped and squawked until our parents mysteriously appeared with food. And then it started all over again.
This seemed like an easy life, but we were growing so big that we had trouble fitting in the nest. One day a good shove from my mother sent me over the edge, my wings flapping in panic. Fortunately they seemed to know what to do, and I landed safely on the ground.
Flying felt fun, so I hopped a few more times until I got the knack of it. My companions and I practiced flying and perching on tree branches. Our parents kept feeding us until we had learned how to find food for ourselves. I loved rainy days when the fat, juicy worms emerged from their tunnels.
The best part of being a robin was being able to make music. At first our voices were high chirps, but soon they deepened until we could sing our special songs.
"Robins!” That’s who we are, robins!
“We live here. We live here.”
“This is my tree. This is my tree.”
“Well, this tree is mine. Stay away.”
The next time I hatched, I had fluffy down feathers and grew to have strong wings and sharp talons on my feet. I was an owl, more powerful than the other birds!
I no longer spent time chatting with my neighbors. In fact, I slept during the day and hunted at night. When it was dark, I was more likely to sneak up on a good meal undetected.
I took to nesting at the top of tall trees where I could see the nests of the other birds I used to be. "A nice young baby robin would taste good," I thought, "And I'd even settle for a fish if I could find one."
I had just settled in for my usual nap when all of a sudden, a mob of robins discovered my perch. Squawking and beating their wings, they told the other birds where I was. "How's an owl supposed to find a good meal around here?" I grumbled, opening one eye. I let them sound off for a bit, and then I roused myself and flew off to another tree.
I enjoyed these dreams of being a bird. I liked lifting off and flying high above those poor creatures stuck on the ground. I liked my brightly colored feathers and puffed them up when looking for a lady friend. I liked being able to fly south when the weather got cold so I didn't freeze or feel cold. All in all, it wasn't a bad life.
Of course, I couldn't do much with my feet other than hanging onto trees or catching a meal. I couldn't do much with my arms except to flap them to fly. Something clearly was missing...