Mel squinted her eyes, shrugged. “Well, I don’t see any star in this daylight.”

 

“It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, Mel. It’s there and it’s bright. Through the darkest clouds and the brightest skies. I wish you could see it so you could follow it too, Mel.” 

“Then it is goodbye, Zakariah. Thank you,” she said and kissed him on the top of his head. Mel nervously watched Zakariah fly into the sky, but now she was beginning to see things differently. 

“Hello, Star,” she said. 

 

Not long after being embarrassed by Mel’s kiss, Zakariah found himself riding over the sun-bleached desert, carried upwards by the warm thermal currents. “We’ve caught a break, Bundle! These thermal waves are going in our direction!” He relaxed his wings and took a deep breath. A calmness came over him as he followed the Star in the sky ahead of him. He closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. Zakariah coasted on the thermal waves, for who knows how long. He woke up as if the house were on fire. He was being thrown around in the air, caught in the middle of a storm like a message in a bottle during the flood! It was a bumpy, scarey ride for him and the Bundle. He flapped his wings for dear life to break through the rough air, but that only made the storm more angry. 

Zakariah looked at the Star, still shining through the murky hell-storm, like it was the last time he was going to see it. Yes, I put down ‘hell’. I know I am a kid, but I have been through a lot so I believe I have earned it. 

 

Just like Zakariah. I almost left this part out. Okay, sometimes when Zakariah had looked at the star, it seemed far away and looked like a star. Other times it looked much closer and it looked like a sun. At that moment it looked far away, though still bright. Can you picture it? I hope me and my friend captured it for you. 

Lightning cracked next to Zakariah and he gasped but I am sure it was really a scream because he dropped the Bundle and it fell down into the clouds below. He tucked his wings in close to his body and dove after it, scared and determined. 

Zakariah had just about caught up to the Bundle,but pulled down by the wind, it slipped further away from his beak’s grasp. Down through the pouring rain the Bundle fell, smashing through cloud after cloud and finally through the roof of a hut made of strange blocks in the middle of a lonely soggy field. Zakariah came tearing in close behind and crashed through the roof, making an even bigger hole and a cloud of feathers and straw. “Bundle! Bundle! Where are you?” Zakariah called out, even though Uncle Ezekiel said Bundle’s are not too talky.

When the cloud of feathers and straw settled, Zakariah could see and smell that the entire hut, everything inside even, was made of frankincense resin. Even the smashed frame of the bed on which the Bundle had luckily landed safely was frankincense. Even the small sculptures on the shelves and the floor were sculpted from frankincense. I don’t think Zakariah cared about any of that at that moment. 

Where was the Bundle? Where was the Bundle? He wanted it back in the safety of his beak. Actually, he had landed on the bed right next to the Bundle. He stuck his head inside it’s wrappings to see if the baby was okay. It was. “I don’t even wanna think about what would have happened if you weren’t such a tough -- “ 

 

Zakariah paused, surprised to see a middle aged man on all fours staring at him with his mouth hanging open like he was trying to catch flies. “You’ve come to save me!” the man said. “Didn’t see that coming,” Zakariah said to himself. “Just here for my Bundle. I am sorry about your roof.” He held the Bundle up for the man to see. “The baby is fine.” 

“Then, young bird, you have saved two humans with one stone,” the man said, still crouching down on all fours. Zakariah’s eyes looked around the room and he wondered aloud, 

“Have you been locked away in this building, too?” 

The man said, “Ah, yes, yes...” He stood and pressed his hands together. “I am King Gaspar, but you can call me Gaspar for now. Will you join me in a bowl of frankincense tea? The storm won’t let up for a while, so I guess we won’t be flying anywhere immediately... Tea?” 

Zakariah asked if he could fly and Gaspar answered, “Ha-Ha. Do I look like a cuckoo bird to you? Of course I can’t fly. That is why you will carry me,” he said pointing a resin tinted finger at himself. “I can only carry this small Bundle,” Zakariah said to Gaspar. “Okay,” Gaspar said, clearing his throat, “I will trade my story for passage out of here but I warn you it is very long. 

 

Ahem. I built this little Kingdom of mine, with my own two hands, as a sanctuary to study Frankincense. And in my, ahem, intensive study I forgot to build a door to get out. The end... I’ll start packing.” But something changed in Gaspar and he began to cry and said, “Oh, who am I kidding? You can’t carry me anywhere.” Zakariah felt sad for him and said, “I’m sorry, Gaspar.” “Ha!” Gaspar laughed. “Sorry? You? You aren’t even real. I’ve been seeing things that are not there for... forever!” 

Zakariah responded as gently as he could, “King Gaspar, I’m standing before you and I hope that I am real and if I am not, I hope somehow that I can be a sign of better things for you.”