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The dried leaves crackled underneath the phoenix’s golden claws in the heat of the sun. The dark-red bird spread its fiery red wings. They glowed like bright blood as the sunrays shone through the long feathers at the tips of her wings.

Her little nest sat on the edge of a cliff overlooking a yellow savannah and a beige desert beyond. There was a single egg inside the nest. With her eyes shimmering like molten gold, the bird of fire looked into the clear blue sky and stared into the shining sun. Just like the mighty dragons, the phoenix was one of the few animals able to withstand the sun’s gleaming whiteness.

The phoenix flapped her wings once, and the hot air, rising from the savannah below, carried her far over the cliff and her nest. In circles, she rose over the landscape beyond. Her cliff appeared like a little stone now. The savannah was not more than a long strip of yellow. The desert, a sea of sand stretching on, just like the sky above, was an endless sight of blue, both blending into one, far away on the horizon.

The phoenix rose ever higher. She did not even have to flap her wings anymore as the hot winds carried her far over the earth below. She sensed the winds growing stronger and the air around her getting colder. Then she started flapping her wings again, a deep red on a blue sky. She ascended higher. Drops of frozen water formed on the feather ends of her wings. She began to glitter like a thousand ruby diamonds flying in the shape of a majestic bird in the heavens. If she continued to ascend higher, where the air was getting ever colder, she would freeze, glitter like a bloodred ice sculpture, plunge into the depths of the sky, and crush into a thousand sparkling rubies in the yellow savannah below.

But the firebird knew what she was doing. With her golden eyes, she admired the sun above her and looked at the earth below. She could see a slight curve on the horizon. It reminded her that the world she lived in was round just like the golden orb lending all warmth to life underneath.

The phoenix, focusing on the sun, flying directly towards the glowing ball of fire, began to sing a song of praise. The melody cut through the ice-cold air like the first rays cut through the night sky in the first moments of morning. It was a music celebrating the beauty of the golden orb. As the winds grew ever colder, the frozen crystals on the phoenix’s feathers began to melt and drop from the bird’s body, creating a stream of white foam behind her as she flew on.

For the rays of the sun were stronger here and engulfed the phoenix with heat. Like veins of molten gold, the sunlight began to flow through the red and dark red feathers of the fire creature. Her eyes began to glow golden like the sun, and as she flew on, her entire body gleamed like the sunrays. She was no longer a bird in the sky but a comet, burning in the heavens.

Her song grew ever louder, and even though she was so high up, her tune could be heard by all the animals of the savannah; by the elephants with their big ears, by the lions lazing in the sun; and even by the crocodiles sitting underwater in the river. Her melody was even heard far in the desert. The sand grains vibrated to her song of fire and sun.

Most importantly, her voice reached the inside of the little golden egg she had left behind in her nest. And as the phoenix burnt up far away, the eggshell broke and a new phoenix with pink and red feathers emerged from the breaking egg. As the hatchling opened its golden eyes for the first time, it saw a flaming red and golden comet in the sky.

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