And he took me and led me where the sun goes forth, and he showed me a chariot and four, under which burnt a fire, and in the chariot sat a man, wearing a crown of fire, and the chariot was drawn by forty angels. And behold a bird circling before the sun, about nine cubits away. And I said to the angel, 'What is this bird?' And he said to me, 'This is the guardian of the earth' And I said, 'Lord, how is he the guardian of the earth? Teach me'.
And the angel said to me, 'This bird flies alongside of the sun, and spreading his wings receives its fiery rays. If he were not to receive them, neither human beings nor any other living creatures would be perserved. God appointed the bird this task'.
From The Apocrypha and Pseudeipgrapha of the Old Testament by R. H. Charles, vol. II , Oxford Press