The farmer was excited when an eagle nested his property and then devastated when he found the eagle had been shot. He climbed the tree to look at the nest and saw it contained a single egg. He carried it carefully down the tree, took it back to his barn, and slipped it under a brooding hen.
The eaglet eventually hatched along with the other eggs that were lain under the hen. It was raised with the chickens and thought itself to be nothing but an unusual chicken. It spent its time scratching the ground for seeds, searching for worms, and clucking senselessly.
One day a dark, ominous shadow fell across the barnyard. In terror the eagle fled for shelter with its companions. Looking up, the eagle saw the outstretched wings of a huge bird effortlessly carrying itself in graceful circles as it glided on currents of warm air. Entranced by the majesty of such a huge and powerful bird, it turned to the chicken beside it and asked, “What’s that?” “That,” said his companion, “is the king of birds. Its realm is the sky. It controls the air. It is called an eagle. We are chickens. We belong on the ground.”
The eagle looked up at the bird and saw their similarities with himself. It looked at the chickens and, for the first time, saw how different he was from them. The eagle now had a choice. It could live and die as a chicken in the backyard coop or it could spread its wings and soar into the air with the majesty, skill, and power of the bird above.