In my teens I came up with some mythlike tales of my own. Here's a weird one:
The Hoatzins were a flock of beautiful birds with a long lifespan. They flew like acrobats. They sang beautifully. People couldn't get enough of them. The thing to do was to visit the island and give them gold and baskets of apples.
Like butterflies, they came in many colors.
Here's a blue one:
Then, like in Greek Myths, something went very wrong.
A hoatzin is only beautiful as a kid.
They matured into, beady-eyed featherless creatures with arms instead of wings. Beaks grew sharp. Voices grew raspy. The ugly duckling in reverse.Something like this:
Visitors stopped coming.
The hoatzins grew bitter. No more flying, no more singing, no more adoring fans and no goody baskets. Still, they waited for the tourists to return.
A bat flew to the island. He gave them gold and apples. "Run off the magic cliff," he promised, "and you shall fly once more. Run off the magic cliff, my friends, and your fans shall return."
They stampeded off the cliff. They flew, for a fraction of a second, then plunged to their deaths.
The tourists returned with gold and apples. They present them to the bat to hear him tell The Sorry Tale of the Happy Hoatzins and to see their bones.
Hey, I told you it was weird!
p.s. There really is a kind of bird called a hoatzin (pronounced hoh-AT-sin). Unlike my HOAT-zins, the former know better than to stampede off cliffs.