Max was a foal born to run. He ran everyday for hours across the fields, river and meadows. It did not matter if the sun was beating down or a storm bearing down. He just ran until sunset before trotting back to the stable where he lived.
It was like every other day in the life of Max. He had run across the vast empty meadows till his hooves were sore. When he returned to the stable that evening, he saw a bird, a kite to be precise, sitting on the fence of his stall.
"Oh Hullo!", said Max trotting to his stall, "My name is Max".
"Yes, hello there. I am Maeve", she was adjusting her feathers.
"Where did you come from?", Max asked
"From there", Maeve pointed her wings towards the sky, "I saw you running in those meadows".
"From the skies?", Max gulped and hesitantly asked, "You could see me? Do you like to run too?"
"What? I don't think much of running...I like doing something far more important and fun. I fly!", she emphatically thumped her feet on the fencepost and crossed her wings and looked above.
"Uh?...Is flying that good?", Max asked.
"Good?", Maeve screamed in surprise. "It is great...in fact, it is the best, it is like...like...this wonderful thing. You can see everything from above. The air is fresh. You can fly above the storms and rains...you can see the almost touch the moon...It is great".
Max stared at her, wide-eyed in wonder. A small desire crept inside him - What if he could fly?.
"Can...Can you teach me to fly?", he muttered under his breath almost both hoping and not that Maeve would hear him.
"What's that?", Maeve looked at him seriously. Her eyes shrunk to size of a dot. Before they completely disappeared, she emphatically rose in a triumphant manner and said, "Yes of course. It is easy. Everyone can fly....You know, when I was little, my mama just pushed me from the edge of a tree and as I fell down, I just started flapping my wings and whew! I started flying...She is still proud of me for doing that..."
"But...But...I don't have wings, you see...", Max turned his neck left and right and pointed to his sides with a shrug.
"Ah...that is a problem, I think...", Maeve scratched her head with her wings, "How can someone not be born without wings, they are such useful things", she muttered.
Max just looked embarrassed. He started feeling bad about not having wings.
"Fear not, worry not!", Maeve said in her now familiar emphatic tone. "The magical Maeve always has a solution for the world's depressed".
"But, I am not depressed...", Max started to speak before Maeve put her wings in front of her to cut him off. She flew and perched on top of Max's back. She started pecking him on the sides, calves, hind legs
"Ouch...Ouch...careful there...it hurts", Max winced.
"Come on, don't be silly. It does not", she continued examining his legs with her wings by wrapping them around. Then, when it seemed she was happy with what she did, she got up, dusted herself and then went back to the fencepost. Then, she started muttering to herself. She even started saying things like "a+b", "strong legs", "circumference", which Max had no clue about. He just kept staring at her in anticipation.
"OK", she said finally taking a deep breath, "Max, do you want to fly?"
Max blinked, "Huh? Without wings?"
"Of course. You are talking to Maeve. Are you ready or not?", She asked dismissively
Max nodded. His heart was already skipping few beats. He could be the first horse who flew. He could soar the skies like Maeve did. When it rained, he would still run in the meadows because he loved running in the rain. But, during other times, he could fly above the meadows.
"Now, don't you start day dreaming!", Maeve chided, "We have a lot of work to do".
As Max sheepishly grinned, she continued, "Now, flap your legs like I do with my wings". She flapped her wings couple of times. Max nodded his head, took a deep breath and tried to pick both right front and rear legs off the ground at once.
"Ow!", he screamed as he thudded to the ground onto a stack of hay, which was supposed to be his supper.
"Oh, this is going to be tougher than I thought...", Maeve muttered before rising her tone to stern. "Not both your legs, you silly. Just the front ones. Now pick yourself up".
Max got up, shook himself too brush off the hay attached to his body. He stood on his hind legs and tried bringing his front legs to his side, like how Maeve's wings spread across her body.
"Urrgh...Urrgh...", he grunted trying to stretch his front legs to the side. "How's that?".
"Seriously, you call that stretching? How old are you anyway?", Maeve rolled her eyes.
"Easy now...I...am...trying", Max called back behind his teeth that was clenching from the effort. Thud! He fell down once more. Only this time, it was a pile of water.
"You are the worst student I ever had. But, fear not, Maeve always has an answer to every challenge life throws at her", Maeve made a swooping gesture with her wings.
"How many students did you teach before anyway?", Max looked up from the ground, too tired to even get up.
"Now, let us not get personal, shall we? We don't know each other that well anyway", she replied. Before Max had a chance to say something, she screamed, "Yes, Yes, I know how to make you fly!"
Max's eyes got bigger. He quickly got up and shook himself dry and gave an approving nod.
"Hurry up, hurry up. I don't have all day. I have more pressing things than teaching you how to fly". She flew outside gesturing Max to follow her.
When Max went outside, he gasped. Somehow, Maeve had managed to drag a plank onto a budle of hay to put together something that roughly resembled a see-saw. "Quick. Get on that side", she gestured.
"What are we trying to accomplish exactly?", he asked.
"Making you fly, of-course", she dismissively replied.
"You just stand this side and prepare to be blown away into the skies", she replied chest puffing.
Max got onto one side of the plank not sure what to expect. He watched curiously as Maeve drew a deep breath, closed her eyes, and shot upwards from the plank. To Max's eyes, she had almost become the size of an ant when she turned around and headed towards the plank with extreme speed.
Boom. Max watched the other side of the plank crash to pieces. A dazed Maeve sat up clutching her head. She straightened her beak, which had curved from the fall
"Ow...You barely moved...Ow...It hurt", she cried.
"Seriously, that was your plan? Unbelievable", Max chortled
"Let us not get distracted, we...we just need to find the right plank", Maeve said dusting herself. As she got up, she started thinking loud, "Or, you can jump from a cliff and start flapping your legs..."
"No, you are crazy!", Max cried, "And, I am stupid".
"What? I don't know about you, but I am not crazy. I am Maeve.", Maeve looked offended.
Max shook his head and trotted back to his stable thankful not to have broken any limbs. Maeve flew away into the night sky. Before leaving she said, "You could have been the first horse who flew. Your loss".
Until today we don't know if Max learned to fly after all, or if Maeve successfully taught another horse how to fly.