S: top wings and bottom wings abbey j. andersen
BC: ...and their smiles twinkled like the stars for a very long time afterwards.
1: top wings and bottom wings | abbey j. andersen
3: inspired by the upside-down moth, who shifted my paradigm
4: There once was a creature called the Hopperoon, who lived a happy, hopeful, hop-filled life on the ground. | The Hopperoon spent most of his time in the shade of the canopy, buzzing around with his little bottom wings. | Bottom wings weren't suited for flying very high or very far, but the Hopperoon didn't need to go far to see the wonder of his little bottom world.
5: Even the dreams and mysteries and magical things that no one else could see were well within reach of his little bottom wings. | He could see flowers and trees and lakeshores in great detail! He could see every tiny petal and every intricate little leaf, every perfect ripple and every swirling, whirling wave.
6: Yes, the Hopperoon was quite content... But he was also very curious! | Once in awhile he would look up into the sky and wonder what he might be able to see up there, beyond the canopy. | If only Hopperoons had stronger wings!
7: One particular morning, as he was gazing up into that sky, wondering just such a thing, the Hopperoon noticed a little creature in the distance, preening her top wings. | It must be a flutterfly!
8: Flutterflies were known for their big, beautiful top wings. | They could fly very high and very far with those wings, and that’s exactly what this Flutterfly did, every day!
9: She loved to watch the trees and mountains whooshing past, the rise and fall of the ocean tides, | The Flutterfly loved it so much that sometimes she forgot to look at the world up close! Besides, her tiny little flutterfly legs weren’t much good for running around down there on the ground. | and the distant lands shimmering miles and miles away.
10: “Hey!” shouted the Hopperoon from the ground to the Flutterfly in the clouds. “Those are some nice top wings! How’s the view from up there?”
11: Startled, the Flutterfly looked to see who could be addressing her from so far away. Flutterflies didn’t often talk to hopperoons, because hopperoons didn’t often talk to flutterflies. That’s just how it was. But this one seemed nice—and besides, he had complimented her top wings! The Flutterfly floated down to sit beside the Hopperoon. “Thank you,” she said. “The view up there is really amazing! Why don’t you come up and look around?” “Oh, I’d like to,” answered the Hopperoon, wistfully, “but it’s not very easy for me to get up there with these bottom wings.” “I see,” replied the Flutterfly. “How do you manage with those bottom wings, anyway? Don’t you feel weighed down? Don’t you feel stuck?” The Hopperoon smiled. “Sometimes I do, just a little. But I can see so much from the ground! Look at all the wonderful things that are already mine, within reaching distance!”
12: The Hopperoon took great care to show his bottom world to the Flutterfly. He pointed out all the petals and the leaves, the ripples and the whirling waves, the magic and the dreams. They spent the entire afternoon together on the ground, no more than a few feet in any direction from where they had met.
13: The Flutterfly was very pleased and surprised to find such wonder in such a small space. “You’re right, there’s a lot to see from here,” said the Flutterfly. "I will never forget the magic that lies within the canopy! I only wish there was some way you could see how it all looks from up above, from where I fly.”
14: “Hmm,” thought the Hopperoon out loud, with a twinkle in his eye. “My bottom wings aren't very strong, but maybe if I try hard enough...” He gazed up at the big, blue sky. “It's worth a shot!” | “Wait a minute,” worried the Flutterfly. “Even if you get up there, how will you make it back down? What if you crash?” | “I might crash, I just might,” the Hopperoon agreed. “But a quick look is all I need.”
15: And with that, the Hopperoon flipped upside down into a handstand, buzzed his bottom wings as hard as he could, and flip-flap-floundered himself into the air and out of the canopy before the Flutterfly could protest any more. | He was surprised that his little wings could lift him so high—he had never tried it before. What a thrill! “Come on!” he shouted to the Flutterfly, already out of breath.
16: Soon the new friends were flying side by side as the trees shrunk into tiny dots below them. They could see all the way out into the middle of the ocean and over the highest mountains!
17: For the Hopperoon, it was quite different to look at the world from the top down instead of the bottom up. He liked it very much, even though his bottom wings were getting a bit weary. | “Just a few more minutes,” he puffed.
18: They flew higher and higher and closer and closer, with smiles as big as the setting sun. | How nice it felt to have such company! Oh, how the Hopperoon wished he could fly even higher and farther! How the Flutterfly wished her new friend could stay up in the sky with her forever!
19: But whenever the Hopperoon became quiet, whenever he started to flap a bit less and look down toward the ground a bit more, the Flutterfly would point out a new, wonderful sight. The Hopperoon certainly couldn’t let an unseen sight remain unseen, and so they would pick up speed again. | The Hopperoon glanced down and saw that the ground had almost disappeared from sight. He knew he didn’t belong up here with his fragile bottom wings, and he was even starting to miss the flowers and the trees up close.
20: The wind started to howl as they neared the tippity top of the world. The gusts became so strong, in fact, that the Hopperoon had a hard time staying right-side up. His energy was quickly running out, and he began to panic. The Hopperoon flitted and flapped his little bottom wings with all of his might, but the wind was too powerful, and swiftly blew him upside-down!
21: “Just flap harder!” shouted the Flutterfly, as she swooped down and tried to lift her friend back up into the clouds. They were so close to the top!
22: Upside-down and facing in the direction of his world far below, the Hopperoon couldn't see a single thing through the thick clouds. All of a sudden, the sky seemed like a very dangerous place to be!
23: The Flutterfly tried desperately to tow her friend back into the clouds, but it was no use. With images of flower petals and whirling waves stacking up in the Hopperoon’s mind, he was much heavier than before, and his weight pulled them both downward. He had to go down, and the Flutterfly would be pulled with him—away from her clouds—if she hung on too long. That's just how it was.
24: The Flutterfly and the Hopperoon dropped out of the heavy winds, out of the clouds, and turned to face each other in midair. As the stars emerged one by one, each knew what the other was thinking. | “I must return to the ground,” said the Hopperoon. “I must follow the clouds,” said the Flutterfly.
25: The Hopperoon and the Flutterfly linked wings one more time, the bottom wings leading the top and the top wings leading the bottom. | The Hopperoon descended to the ground ever so carefully and the Flutterfly flew higher into the sky ever so silently, just as the sun disappeared below the horizon... | Then, with an eternity of visions stored away in their memories, . they let each other go. | And so they did.