The Story of the Eagle

Flying Eagle Silhouette


From “Make the Big Time Where You Are” by Frosty Westering

Donald was a young farmer who lived on a farm that spread out over the broad flatlands beneath a high cliff. One morning as he drove down the road next to the cliff, he noticed a nest made of sticks and grass lying by the side of the road. He stopped and went over, and as he picked it up he saw a baby eagle tucked into the broken nest. He looked up the high cliff, but couldn’t see where the nest had fallen from. He sat the nest and the eaglet on a low cliff ledge. The next day he found the nest by the road again with the baby eagle in it.

He picked up the baby eagle and decided to take it back to his farm yard. When he arrived, he looked around for a place to put it. His eyes stopped at the chicken pen where all the baby chicks were. There was no roof on the pen — the eaglet could fly away when it was ready. Thus he decided this was the place and put the baby eagle in with the young chicks. Time went by. The little eagle had now grown much larger than the young chickens in the pen.

One day Roger, a neighbor, came over to visit and noticed the young eagle in the chicken pen. He asked Donald about the eagle and they both agreed it really did not belong with the chickens and should start to fly as young eagles do. Even though there was no roof on the pen, the young eagle had remained there.

Roger picked up the eagle and took him outside the pen, held him high over his head, and gave him a toss into the air. The eagle dropped to the ground like a rock and shuffled back into the chicken pen. They tried this maneuver several more times, with the same results. Always the young eagle returned to the chicken pen.

Several weeks later Roger came back to visit Donald again. This time he had what he considered a better idea on how to help the young eagle fly. He convinced Donald that all they had to do was to get the young eagle to spread its wings, and then it would fly. The way to do this was to take the eagle to the top of the cliff and toss it off. Its wings would then spread out, and it would be able to fly.

Donald agreed, so both men climbed the side of the cliff behind the farmyard, taking the young eagle with them. They finally came to the top of the cliff with the entire farm in view.

Roger tossed the young eagle over the edge of the cliff. It fell like a rock toward the farmyard below. Both farmers looked in despair, anticipating that they had made a big mistake and that the young eagle was going to be crushed and die. However, half way down in its fall from the high cliff, the young eagle’s wings opened and it went into a perfect glide.

The two farmers looked at each other with a big smile on their faces as the eagle circled through the air over the farmyard. However, as the eagle neared the ground, they noticed it was gliding directly toward the chicken pen. The young eagle came closer and closer to the pen preparing to settle on the ground with the chicks. But at the last instant, it flapped its wings and started back up toward the sky. Again and again the young eagle flapped its wings until it soared high above the cliff and out of sight.

“Did you get the message, Gary?”

“I believe so — regardless of its choice, the eagle would never be the same again.”

That’s exactly it. The eagle learned it could fly, and then chose to fly away like a true eagle.

If it had chosen to go back to the chicken pen, it would not have been the same eagle, for then it would have been an eagle in the chicken pen and not a chicken as it thought it was before.