To "lighten" his name, Walter removed one of its letters.
When Walter goes through a midlife crisis, he becomes devoted to the guru Harm'ny Lightbeard and his philosophy of lightness. Giving all of their money to the guru, Walter takes his entire family up to Harm'ny's village in the sky, Meriloft, so they can better study his teachings.
Act I Edit
Walter -now known as Walt'r- works as a preener in Meriloft, tending the variety of bird nests. They also replace lost eggs with heavy golden ones to prevent the birds from flying off with them and losing them.
The day after Meriloft's Maiden's Feast, a big blue bird named Jessie flies in with a teenage girl on her back. The girl, Vella, tumbles out of Jessie's nest and introduces herself to Walt'r and Ch't, explaining that she was a Sugar Bunting Maiden, but fought back against Mog Chothra, escaping with Jessie's help. As Walt'r tells her about Meriloft and Harm'ny Lightbeard, he also encourages her to go seek out Mog Chothra and offer herself as a sacrifice in the hopes of setting things right.
After the disappearance of Vella in Shay's story, the Tartins move in to Meriloft and Walt'r befriends Vella's dad who gives him parenting advice.