When Children Had Wings

Image: James Browne

Once upon a time, long ago, all children were born with wings.

Every pair of wings was a beauty and wonder to behold. Some wings were big and bright, made to fly long distances and see faraway lands. Some wings were small and quick, perfect for flying in tiny spaces and discovering secret things.

Some wings were dark midnight blue, speckled with shining gemstones and red jewels, like stars in the night sky. Some wings were red, orange and glittering gold, and when they moved, they looked like dancing flames. Some wings were frosty white and clear blue, like a winter landscape in the moonlight. Some wings were bright green and earthy brown, like an old, mossy green forest.

The children with wings loved to fly and play all day long. The world was a marvellous place full of adventure and new things to discover. The children laughed, played and soared the skies until the day came when they had to fly far, far away to a land known as Time.

The land of Time was a terrible place full of tick-tocking things called Clocks. The land of Time was home to the grown-ups and they didn’t have wings. They were always in a hurry – always chasing after something. What they were chasing after, no one could say. Dressed in black and grey, they looked so stressed and tired, and never had any fun. The children wondered if the grown-ups had ever had wings before. What happened to them?

With every day the children spent in the land of Time, their wings began to dry out. When they tried to fly, they found that their wings, so thin and frail, could barely lift their feet off the ground.

Finally, there came a day when the children with wings awoke in the morning, got out of bed, and felt that something was very different. When they looked down at their beds, they saw the dry, crumbled remains of their wings. It was a terrible thing, but the grown-ups were very pleased. The death of a child’s wings was a sign that she or he was ready to grow up.

At night, the children who once had wings had a special dream. In the dream, they heard a soft, sweet song that pulled them out of bed and into the night. The song led them faraway, out of town and into the woods where a woman was waiting for them. Some say that her hair was shining gold while others insist it was black as a raven. What everyone can agree upon, however, is that the mysterious woman had the most enchanting wings ever to see, and she sang with a voice sweet as honey and warm as a summer’s day.

She sang:

Precious child, fly on your way,

and beyond the land of Time.

May your heart be full of joy and fun.

May your wings grow back again.

Image: Debbie Arnold

Some children awoke the next morning and forgot all about the dream, and all about their wings. With time, the children grew up. The memory of their wings hurt to remember – it hurt so much so it was much easier to let the memory fade away like an old autumn leaf.

However, some children awoke the next morning and their eyes were all bright and sparkling. They remembered the dream and they let the memory follow with them in life like the best of friends, always helping them to remember. They grew up too, but as others grew old and grey with age, those who remembered grew younger and brighter. However old they may have appeared on the outside, in spirit, they were beyond time, and their wings were the most enchanting wings ever to see.

It is said that they eventually flew far away from the land of Time, to a place so beautiful only song and story might hope to capture it. They found a place so wonderful, only those with wings may ever hope of finding it.

A story written by Stina Gray


  1. So beautiful! Everything in it, the words, the story, your voice and the great artwork with the magic pictures. This must, must be a book and I will be the first in line to get it signed by you. Looking forward to follow you on your writing-journey. Happy to have found you and your work. Keep going, keep writing!


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