Dragonwings Chapter 12 Summary

Instructor: Elizabeth Hance

Elizabeth has taught elementary and middle school special education, and has a master's degree in reading education.

Chapter 12 of Dragonwings picks up immediately where the 11th chapter ends. It seems that Windrider's dream has come to an end. In this lesson, you will learn how Windrider and Moon Shadow deal with their apparent defeat and the lessons they learn that will move them forward.

The Fog Clears

The morning after being robbed by Black Dog, Moon Shadow wakes to the rising sun. He doesn't know it yet, but the change in weather will also signal a change in fortune for him and his father, Windrider. The final chapter of Dragonwings lets the reader see Dragonwings, the flying machine, in its glory and helps Windrider understand how he will become a true dragon.

Taking Flight

When Moon Shadow wakes up, he can hardly believe what he sees: Hand Clap standing at the door of his home. Just behind Hand Clap, he sees the Company's horse, Red Rabbit, and Uncle Bright Star riding in the wagon. Behind the wagon walks the rest of the Company men, carrying ropes and food with them. Before Moon Shadow can even explain their troubles, Uncle Bright Star stops him--he already knows what has happened, and the Company is here to help!

Moon Shadow is surprised that Uncle Bright Star wants to help--after all, he does not believe in flying machines. But Uncle is determined to help, even if all he does is watch them fail. He feels that he owes them after what his son, Black Dog, has done, and he insists that the Company will help too.

It is a difficult climb, but with the horse and the help of their entire family, Windrider finally arrives at the top of the hill with Dragonwings, ready to take flight. He has picked this day because the book of horoscopes predicts that it is good luck. Horoscopes are predictions based on the positions of the planets and stars. Just then, another surprise arrives at the top of the hill--Miss Whitlaw and Robin have come to help and watch.

Becoming a Dragon

The wind stirs, and the wings ripple. Moon Shadow and Robin turn the propellers, Windrider cranks the engine, and suddenly, Dragonwings is flying! Windrider banks to the left and to the right, flying down towards their barn, and soaring up to twenty feet in the air. He is using his body and the rudders to control his flight, something the Wright brothers struggled with.

While the men of the Company wonder out loud how he will land, trouble strikes again. The bolt holding the right propeller snaps, and the right side dips. Windrider tries to glide into a landing but crashes into the hill instead.

This early airplane has wheels and an engine similar to Dragonwings.
early airplane

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