WAX AND FEATHERS —Roland Vikre

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Some time ago in Greek mythology, Athenians Icarus and his clever father Daedalus were imprisoned by the mean King Minos on the island of Crete.

Minos had commissioned Daedalus who was a skilled inventor, puzzle-solver, and master craftsman, to build a labyrinth to house his Minotaur. The Minotaur was a mythical monster who was kept alive to feed upon the king’s enemies.

Without going into it here, let’s just say Daedalus betrayed the King by conspiring to have one of those enemies escape. Naturally that upset the king, and Daedalus and his son too, were incarcerated.

Frightened by the Kings wrath and not wishing to remain imprisoned, Daedalus devised an ingenious plan to get himself and his son off the island.

With a little bit of wax and a few hundred discarded gull feathers, he fashioned for Icarus and himself some wings as an imaginative mode of transportation. Before undertaking their escape, Daedalus expounded a piece of cautionary advice to his teenage son:

“Alright Icarus, I know you’re not going to like hearing this, but when we take flight, whatever you do, don’t have fun. That means no flying too close to the sun with your waxy wings, or flying too close to the sea where they might get soggy. Are you listening? Icarus? It’s really important that you pay attention here because bad things can happen if….”

Unfortunately, for Icarus, he was not listening and bad things did happen. After strapping on his wings and jumping out the window, he did just what his father asked him not to do: he had fun.

He had fun flapping his feathers over the sea, and fun flying as high, and as close to the sun as he could. He had fun, fun, and more fun until he realized the wax on his wings had melted, his feathers had fallen, and he was plunging to his death in the cool blue water.

What a lesson!
What a fun way to go!
What a way to have the Icarian sea named after you!

c.v.

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