Text Box:  Once upon a time, there was a fine young boy named Luke. He lived in a great little town called Fort Smith. Luke loved most things that many young kids did: he really enjoyed riding his bicycle, he played with some cool toys and Lego, and he especially liked music. Luke even started taking piano lessons really young compared to most kids. The difference was that he actually enjoyed playing musical instruments, plus his teachers said he was pretty good! Luke had a sister who was a couple of years older and they enjoyed playing together, most of the time… J.   His Mom worked in Fort Smith, but his Dad had a job where he lived at the work half of every month. Luke’s Dad chose not to have a job at all until Luke started school though, so they got to play together lots while he was growing up.

Text Box:  Still though, sometimes Luke missed his Dad. Especially when he had occasional nightmares. One night he had a nightmare and woke up with a start! He went to crawl in with his Mom and Dad in their bed but no one was in it. He remembered that his Dad was away at work, and his Mom was out at a meeting. Then he went into the living room and there was Andrew, the teenaged babysitter fast asleep with a movie playing. Andrew wasn’t very cuddly like a Mom or a Dad anyways, and he didn’t really play with Luke and his sister, he just sent them to bed and turned on the TV and ate, and ate, and ate! Luke thought that some day Andrew might just pop!

Text Box:  So, Luke went back to bed, snuggled with his special animals and closed his eyes to go back to sleep. As soon as his eyelids were shut he saw a beautiful bird flying around in his brain! “What?!  How is that possible?” he thought to himself. When he tried to open his eyes, he couldn’t seem to. The bird was flying in big circles, getting closer and closer to Luke. Luke was staring at the bird and it winked at him! His Dad always winked at him too, it was kind of a way for his Dad to say (without words) that he loved Luke and his sister lots and lots. Luke rubbed his eyes but then as it got closer, the bird seemed to be grinning. Then it winked at him again! Finally the stunning bird landed on the ground right beside Luke, and it spoke! It said “Hi Luke”. Luke was really shocked but not scared at all for some strange reason and said “Hi” back without even wondering how this bird knew his name. Then the bird said in a concerned tone of voice, “ I guess you’re having a bit of trouble sleeping eh?” Luke nodded his head as he said, “yeah, I just had a little nightmare and I don’t even remember what it was about though.” The bird came a little closer and asked Luke to crouch down lower so they could talk better.

Text Box:  Text Box:  Luke lay down on his stomach and put his chin in his hands as the bird spoke again, “I’m a Falcon and my name is Zarrie. I came all the way from Diavik where your Dad works. My sister and I were born there after my Mom and Dad nested on a ledge on one of the high walls the men dug out. It’s a nice place and there’s lots of little rabbits and sic-sic’s for us to eat, with no trees for them to hide under. Sometimes it’s a little cooler there than Fort Smith, but there’s a really nice lake, and we just grow some extra feathers to help stay warmer.”

Text Box:  Luke was amazed at this bird’s story and asked, “Did you see my Dad there?” Zarrie replied that he had seen Luke’s Dad just a couple of days ago. “He was trying to take pictures of my Mom and Dad flying around above our nest, but they wouldn’t let him. They were teasing him and flying in all different directions so that he couldn’t get a good shot of them together. He found a nice rock that was mostly flat and round with different colors and had some tiny silver sparkles. He didn’t realize that it was a magic rock that had fallen down from our nest above. It made us Falcon chicks in the nest feel not scared when our Mom and Dad were both gone from the nest at the same time hunting for food for my sister and me.” A fond smile came over Zarrie’s beak as he described what happened next. “Then your Dad tossed it up to the ledge beside our nest, that was really nice of him. Since we still had a few other magic rocks I thought that I would bring this one to you!”

Text Box:  Luke was really excited as he held his hand out to get the magic rock from the Falcon’s talons. At first it looked pretty plain, with a few neat colors, but when he looked closer he could see the silver sparkles. As soon as he grasped it though Luke instantly felt warm and happy, knowing that his Dad had held it and had tried to help the Falcon’s with it.

Zarrie sadly said, “I have to go now Luke, but it was really nice meeting you!” As Zarrie flew away, Luke said, “Nice meeting you too! And THANKS!” Zarrie called back from way up in the sky, “You’re welcome and Sweet Dreams!”

Suddenly Luke’s eyes burst open and he was in his bed. “What happened?” he thought to himself. There was no big sky and no beautiful bird. He went out to the living room and saw Andrew still fast asleep and snoring on the couch. “It was all a really nice dream!” Luke realized laughing to himself. He mumbled aloud, “It sure seemed real though, but who ever heard of a talking bird.”

Feeling tired now, Luke crawled back into his comfy bed. As he slipped his arm under his pillow he felt something hard. He pulled it out and held it up to the moonlight coming in from his window. IT WAS THE MAGIC ROCK!!! Now how did that get there?!?