MR. CAMEO'S WINGS

One morning Mr. Cameo, the engineer and inventor,
woke to find a pair of golden wings
leaning against the full-length mirror beside his bed.
Assuming some angel had been there to visit him
he dared not touch them fearing they'd be missed
and he'd be blamed.  But on the third day
he could no longer restrain himself.
"They must be a gift," he said delightedly.
Taking them outside, he put them on
and flew a few feet off the ground.
Mr. Cameo was thrilled.  He'd never felt anything quite like this.
Growing bolder, he flew above his house
and out over the surrounding woods.
That night he slept poorly, waking often to check on his wings.

The next day, growing bolder still,
he flew over the river and was reluctant to return
but had to call his employer to say he was sick.
The following day, he sailed over a mountain
and by the fourth day Mr. Cameo was soaring up among the clouds.
That's when he heard the voice of an angel say,
"How kind of you to return the wings
I carelessly left behind in your bedroom, Mr. Cameo."
Mr. Cameo was stunned
and fell plummeting back down to earth.
Luckily, he remembered he was still wearing his wings
and started flapping them
just before he hit the pavement of a parking lot.
He flew directly home, removed the wings at once,
and hid them in his garage
under a piece of canvas in the loft above his red Mustang.

That night Mr. Cameo thought he heard the sound of weeping
coming from somewhere outside and then a very mournful voice said,
over and over, "My wings, Mr. Cameo. My wings."
Mr. Cameo was frightened, but he didn't want to give them back.
The voice grew sadder, "My wings, Mr. Cameo.  My wings."
This disturbed Mr. Cameo and made him melancholy
but he still didn't want to give them back.
Never in his lifetime could he invent something like these wings.
This happened again on the next night and the night after that
but on the fourth night the voice was silent, and there as no weeping.
Alarmed, Mr. Cameo hurried out to his garage
and climbed up the ladder to check on his wings.
He lifted the canvas.  The golden wings were still concealed there
like two sleeping children curled around each other.
Relieved, Mr. Cameo went back to bed.

He rose at dawn, put on his wings, and flew up into the air
going higher than his house, higher than the very old maple trees
on the edge of his property, but not as high as the clouds.
This went on for weeks until one day
Mr. Cameo made a fatal mistake.
He flew up into the clouds again.
Suddenly, a voice boomed out,
"My wings, Mr. Cameo!  My wings!"
and on that instant the wings vanished.
Poor wingless Mr. Cameo went hurling back down to earth
landing somewhere in the hills of Pakistan  
where to this day he is worshipped
as the god who fell from heaven.