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“I promise I will not eat the egg,” Zorba repeated. “Promise me that you will look after it until the chick is born,” she squawked, holding her neck a little higher. “I promise I will look after the egg until the chick is born.” “And promise me that you will teach it to fly,” Kengah gasped, staring directly into the cat’s eyes. Then Zorba knew that the poor gull was not just delirious: she was totally mad. “I promise to teach it to fly. And now you rest, I’m going to look for help,” Zorba told her, with one leap reaching the tile roof.

We could say that the whole essence of Sepulveda’s book lies in the passage above.

A book for all ages; a fairy tale for children we must let enjoy themselves, children who have the right to become attached to Zorba, to be sad for Kengah and to love the little gull without finding parallels with the real world at all costs.

A book for adults who are still children inside and have the right to experience a wonderful adventure. A book for those who want to find a moral in the writings of a great teacher provided they actually learn something from it.

The story of a seagull and the cat who taught her to fly is a story about seagulls, fluttering light over the Hamburg sky, above the mouth of the Elbe.

It is a story about cats, Zorba and his band of cats, Colonel, Secretary, Bobulina and Diderot living in Harry’s bazaar, an old sea dog. Harry has an Encyclopaedia, an inexhaustible source of useful information, great for raising the chick, protecting him from danger, and above all, teaching him to fly.

It is a story about people, in particular that of a ‘poet able to fly with words’, a human being who will make Fortunata fly.

It is a story about friendship and above all, about courage as Zorba reminds us at the end while Fortunata on her first flight, talks to the human: “On the brink of the abyss, she understood the most important thing”, “Oh yeah? And what did she understand?” asks the poet “That only those who dare may fly”.

 

The Story of a Seagull and the Cat who taught her to fly

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