Jonathan Livingston Seagull

By tbdews
  • Practicing

    Jonathon Livingston Seagull was learning how to stall. He found that he just fell into the water until he figured out the exact speed he needed. He learned by trial and error. He was also practicing gliding low - half a wing span above the water. He was not your ordinary seagull.
  • Scolding

    Jonathan's parents could not understand why he didn't want to just be a normal seagull. His mother often scolded him and told him he was too skinny and needed to eat more and practice less. "Why, John, why? Why is it so hard to be like the rest of the flock?" his mother said. His dad told him that the purpose of flight was to eat not to glide. He didn't listen to them because he thought differently.
  • The Need for Speed

    The Need for Speed
    First, Jonathan climbed to 1000ft. He dove down gaining speed quickly. But, every time he passed 70 mph he lost control. He tried ten times with no success. Next he climbed to 2000ft to try a different approach. He dove and reached 90 mph but lost control again. "Jonathan Seagull exploded in midair and smashed into a brick-hard sea." When he came to and thought about it for a while he realized he needed to have short wings like a falcon.
  • The Breakthrough

    The Breakthrough
    Jonathan flew up to 2000ft once again. Then he only extended his wingtips part way out so that they would be shorter in length and he reached 140 miles per hour! He climbed to 5000ft to go even faster. He reached terminal velocity - 214 mph! But, as he was pulling out of the dive he saw his flock right in his path. He shut his eyes and plowed through. "The gull of Fortune smiled upon him this once, and no one was killed." He called this new feat the Breakthrough
  • Kicked Out

    Kicked Out
    Jonathan Livingston Seagull was called by the elders of the flock. They told him that he was going to be cast out of the gull society. He tried to tell them about the breakthrough and all the things he had learned that a gull could do. But, no one listened. "The Brotherhood is broken," all of the gulls said and they all turned their backs on Jonathan.
  • On His Own

    On His Own
    Jonathan Livingston Seagull was banished out beyond the Far Cliffs. He wasn't sad about being alone just about the other gulls not realizing their potential. He spent the rest of his days practicing and learning how to fly really well. He learned that his high speed diving could get him 10 feet below the surface of the ocean to get the really good fish. He also learned how to sleep in the air and fly through any kind of weather.
  • Dying

    One evening two gulls came, unlike any he had seen before. They were "pure as starlight" and they could fly just like him. They told Jonathan Livingston Seagull that they were his brothers and they had come to take him home. "We've come to take you higher, to take you home," they said. Jonathan said he was ready and the three of them disappeared into the sky.
  • Heaven

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull thought that he was in Heaven. His feathers turned brilliant white and his wings were smooth and perfect and he could fly even better than on earth. He was flying at 273 mph when he broke through the clouds. The two seagulls said, "Happy landings, Jonathan," and then disappeared. He saw some cliffs where other seagulls were flying.
  • Jonathan's New Life

    Jonathan's New Life
    Jonathan soon realized that the seagulls in this life were more like him. They practiced and practiced. Sullivan was Jonathan's instructor. Jonathan wondered why there weren't more seagulls. Sullivan told Jonathan that he was "one-in-a-million bird". Most birds had to go through thousands of lives to get where Jonathan got in just one. Then they practiced more flying techniques.
  • Chiang - The Elder Gull

    Chiang - The Elder Gull
    Jonathan went to Chiang and he asked him if there was a heaven and Chiang said that there is no heaven. He said, "...there is no such place. Heaven is not a place, and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect." He told Jonathan that to touch heaven he would need to touch perfect speed and perfect speed is not a certain number it is "being there".
  • The Speed of Thought

    The Speed of Thought
    Chiang taught Jonathan that he could move at the speed of thought. He needed to think about arriving somewhere not about getting there. Jonathan tried and tried to control his thoughts. He stood in the same place day after day until one day he finally got it. Chiang told him he needed to work on his control because they ended up in a world with a green sky and double star for a sun. Jonathan was so happy.
  • Chiang Disappears

    Chiang Disappears
    Now that Jonathan could travel at the speed of thought, Chiang told him that he would soon be ready to learn about something more important which was kindness and love. One day, Chiang was talking and his feathers started glowing and they got so bright that no one could look at him and he disappeared. His last words were, "Jonathan, keep working on love."
  • Learning About Love

    Learning About Love
    Jonathan kept thinking about the gulls back in his first life. Sullivan thought he was crazy to go back where he was an "outcast". Sullivan thought Jonathan should stay and teach the gulls who were willing to learn. So, Jonathan stayed and taught but he kept thinking of home. One day, he decided to leave. He said, "Goodbye Sully, We'll meet again."
  • Fletcher Lynd Seagull

    Fletcher Lynd Seagull
    Fletcher was an outcast too. He was cast out for flying a barrel-roll around an elder gull. He was really mad as he was flying out to the Far Cliffs. Suddenly he heard a voice and saw Jonathan Livingston Seagull flying by his side. Jonathan asked if he wanted to learn to fly. Jonathan became Fletcher's teacher.
  • Six More Students

    Six More Students
    Jonathan gained six more students who were outcasts. They loved learning how to fly better and were good students. Jonathan tried to teach them why they need to learn. He said, "Break the chains of your thought, and you break the chains of your body too." The outcasts didn't quite understand but, they kept learning.
  • Returning to the Flock

    Returning to the Flock
    After a month of practice, Jonathan told them it was time to go back. They didn't want to but Jonathan had already taken off so they followed so he wouldn't face the flock alone. They flew in a perfect V formation and did lots of tricks and then landed on the beach. The elders told all the gulls to ignore them and not talk to the outcasts or they would become outcasts too. Jonathan held his lessons every day over the Council Beach like it didn't matter. The outcasts practiced and learned.
  • Maynard Gull

    Maynard Gull
    Jonathan taught his students each night on the beach. A circle of gulls began forming around them in the dark each night who would listen too. They a gull crossed the line and said he wanted to learn. Then another one did. Then Maynard Gull with a broken wing said he wanted to learn but could not. Jonathan said, "You have the freedom to be yourself...nothing can stand in your way. It is the law of the Great Gull." Maynard could suddenly fly. It was a miracle.
  • Another Miracle

    Another Miracle
    One day Fletcher was flying a high speed when a young bird flew into his path. Fletcher turned to miss the bird and ran into the cliff. Suddenly, Jonathan was there and told Fletcher that it was up to himself whether he was dead or not. He decided to live and the flock said, "He that was dead lives!" They yelled that Jonathan was the Son of the Great Gull but he denied it so they called him the Devil. He instantly took Fletcher and appeared a half mile from the mob.
  • Jonathan Moves Up

    Jonathan Moves Up
    Fletcher could not understand why Jonathan loved the flock even though they wanted to kill him. Jonathan told Fletcher, "You don't love evil and hatred...You have to practice and see the real gull, the good in every one of them, and help them to see it in themselves. That's what I mean by love." He tells Fletcher it is time for him to leave and Fletcher is the new instructor. Jonathan's body glowed brighter and brighter and he vanished.