"the little winged animals who had often intercepted the light from my eyes"

   The creature, either through miseducation or his own faulty reasoning, has apparently subscribed to the ancient misconception that the human eye projects rays of light out into the world, rather than receiving them from it.  What is now called the 'emission theory' of perception was articulated and upheld by ancient writers including Plato and Ptolemy, but fell out of favour early in the second millenium AD.