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Encourage others

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A farmer was walking through the forest one day when he found a young eagle that was hurt. The farmer saved the eagle from the dangers of the forest. He took it home and put it in his chicken lot where it soon learned to eat and behave like the chickens. One day a Forest Ranger passed by the farm and asked why it was that the king of all birds is living in the chicken lot with the chickens. The farmer replied since he had given it a home in the chicken lot and feed it chicken feed it acted like the chickens it lived with. It was no longer a great eagle of the wild outdoors but a chicken of the tame chicken lot.

“Still it has the heart of an eagle,” replied the Ranger, “and can surely be taught to fly.” He lifted the eagle toward the sky and said, “You belong to the sky and not to the earth. Stretch forth your wings and fly.” The eagle, however, was confused. He did not know who he was, and seeing his friends the chickens walking by and eating their food, he jumped down to be with them again.

The Ranger took the eagle from the chicken lot to the roof of the house and urged him to fly again, saying, “You are an eagle. Stretch forth your wings and fly.” But the eagle was afraid of his unknown self and this new world and jumped down once more and flapped his eagle wings just enough to get back to the chicken lot for the chicken food. Finally the Ranger took the eagle to a high mountain. There he held the king of the birds high above him and encouraged him again, saying, ” You are an eagle. You belong to the sky. Stretch forth your wings and fly.” The eagle looked around, back towards the way that they had come from the chicken lot and then up to the sky. Then the Ranger saw another giant eagle soaring on the current of the wind coming toward them. As the giant eagle passed by the chicken lot eagle slowly stretched his wings, and with a triumphant cry, soared away into the heavens.

It may be that the eagle still remembers the chickens with nostalgia. It may even be that he occasionally revisits the chicken lot. But as far as anyone knows, he has never returned to lead the life of a chicken because he now knows that he is an eagle of prey not a bug and feed eater that is restricted to the ground forever.

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