Seabird and the Star.2

the cosmic battle

the cosmic battle between Orion and Taurus

The Story continues… to start at the beginning, click here

Tara was momentarily dazed by her dilemma. Eventually, she persuaded herself against settling in that dreamy island she’d found. Her seabird family must be terribly worried! With a hearty sigh she flapped her wings north toward what she thought was the flock’s correct direction.

After many weary days of flying, Tara’s heart grew heavy with doubt. At least the grey sky had parted and the sun was now warming her feathers. At night the stars shone with ferocity. While chomping on shrimp attracted to moon’s glow, she gazed at the stars. While resting in the lolling swells of an atoll, she gazed. Everything was quiet and she was lonely, but the lack of distraction let her gaze with great contentment.

Then a strange thing started to happen. At first it was imperceptible, but over time she felt she could hear something…  It couldn’t be.  Yet– if the waves and wind and trees spoke, as Tara knew they did, why couldn’t the stars? Now she was intrigued and gazed with deep earnest. That vast solitude and silence allowed the softer voices to appear. And she heard:

“…tiring to follow and watch you constantly. Why don’t we take a break?”  said the archer to the bull. It was Orion, of course, with his gleaming belt of three stars, speaking to Taurus. In his gruff way, the bull countered, “You don’t have to keep after me like a bloodhound. Go battle with Scorpio, or better yet, arrange a date with the Twins.”

Editor’s Note: the actual gender of the Twins has been a subject of dispute, as it appears to switch as erratically as the Earth’s magnetic poles, so it’s hard to say if Taurus was making a playful stab or being quite impish; that is, if Orion is a lady’s man, which is a fair assumption.

“Don’t start,” said Orion. “You’ll stomp the Pleides as soon as I turn my back.” All that Taurus could do was sigh, and mumble, “You’ve still got it backwards, after these millions of years. No wonder you’re upside down in the sky.” Exasperation was futile – they’d had this argument since time immemorial – so they had to resort to some occasional humor.

Around this point, Tara noticed that time was standing still. It is a well-observed phenomenon that time does appear to slow down when we gaze deeply at the stars. Tara was finding this process remarkable when she felt a jolt: it was the cosmic shudder when the universe snapped back into motion. “Wow!” Tara thought.

Every night Tara heard different variations on their arguments, and also the discussions of other mega-constellations (she could not discern the inaudible whisper of minor constellations, yet) but she kept coming back to Orion and Taurus, above all others. Though their drama was serious, they had accepted their condition and employed enough amusing creativity to keep her entertained. “Perhaps it’s comic relief for their infinite stalemate,” Tara thought.

That inter-galactic stalemate was about to be broken, unwittingly, by a lonely seabird who had lost its flock…

Seabird and the Star.1

Blue Sky's the Limit

STORYTIME…. about how the Aldebaran got its name and its distinctive blue feet… er, I mean blue hull. 

In a sea long ago, in an ocean far far away, there was a lonely seabird. Her name was Tara. She was a lonely because she had lost her tribe during one their trans-oceanic migrations. It was no fault of the tribe. Tara was bored during their 10.000 mile flight, the sky had been grey and dull for days, and had decided to take a little detour.

Tara was, after all, an easily distracted young bird. She saw a fantastic green island way down below: amidst the endless blue sea, it looked like a garden of bliss! an Eden with waterfalls and ponds, countless fruit trees blossoming! she had to take a peak.  “It will be no problem to catch up with those slow-pokes,” she thought naughtily, eyeing the flock of birds, thousands thick, before swooping down for a quick lookie-look.

Tara went gliding through the island trees and down into the lakes, which shimmered with mineral green. She bathed and flapped her wings wildly; then ate a bunch of Breadfruit (more than momma-bird would care to know). In that moment, the troubles of bird migration seemed so far away…

Range of the Blue Footed Booby (approximate range of Tara's flock)

“Oh-Oh! My flock! It’s Time To Go!” Tara suddenly yelped, realizing much time had gone by.

Luckily, she was full of gust, and flew like the wind in the direction of the flock, just a speck of black in the distance, the horizon itself an undefined grey plaster of clouds. Quite shockingly, upon arrival she found it was not them!  This was a different flock; they were mean and ugly sea-gulls, and not entirely hospitable. She retreated rapidly a short ways. Sobered by the crisis, she got her bearings and reckoned, with a sinking feeling, that she’d gone south instead of north!  Oh the Breadfruit had played tricks upon her instincts of direction. Plus, the grey-dull sky was terribly similar for all 360 degrees.

Her conundrum: whether to blindly head north in the correct direction of her flock, hoping that she’d be more astute in navigation, or whether she should retreat to that garden island and live bountifully. It was tempting but not altogether without risk. She was scared. What would Tara do?

The Story continues in part 2… click here