I read this story in James’s Waldram’s book ‘The Way of the Pipe’. Good Story.
An eagle is flying around and all of a sudden he got shot and was wounded and fell inside a ditch. A farmer saw the eagle and picked it up, but theeagle was fighting the farmer, still trying to get away. But being wounded and very defenseless, the farmer took the eagle to his farm and put him in the chicken coop with the chickens. So after a period of time, through feeding and through mimicking the actions of the chickens, the eagle looked around and figured, “Well geez, if that’s how they feed, I guess that’s how I’ll feed. If that’s how they sleep, that’s how I’ll have to sleep. And if they hang around like that, well I guess I’ll have to do the same thing.” So there was an identity change, and the eagle started becoming a chicken.
So this went on for a period of time, and one day along came a [Native Man]. He looked over in the chicken coop and saw the eagle acting like a chicken. So he said, “What’s that eagle doing there in the chicken coop?”The farmer said “Well, I found it in the ditch, mended its wing and put him in the there. He just needed to heal up. The eagle can fly out any time. Its wing is healed. There’s no cage over him. There’s a fence around to keep the chickens in, but the eagle doesn’t want to go. He just thinks he’s a chicken I guess.”
So the [Native man] told the farmer that the eagle was a proud bird and explained that it stood for courage, power, and might. Anyway, the [Native] guy said, “Can I take the eagle?” The farmer said, “You can do what you want with it. Take him out of there. It’s just one less I have to feed.”
So the Native man took the eagle, but the eagle was very docile. He thought he was a chicken. He kept bobbing his head. He had lost his complete identity.The [Native man]started talking to the eagle and telling him what the eagle represents. He said, “You shouldn’t be there. You should be flying high in the sky, people looking up at you and seeing you spread your wings and giving courage.” The eagle didn’t have a clue about what he was hearing.So the [Native man] took the bird to the mountain and said, “I’m going to let you go. I’m going to drop you off here where you can fly and soar. So the [Native man] let the eagle go and the eagle just flopped back down to earth just like a chicken. He just stayed on the ground. And the [Native man] went down and picked him up, brought him back up again and he explained what he represented and everything else about it. He explained that the eagle was not a chicken and that he’s different from anybody else. He said “you have to know who you are and what you stand for.” And he threw him off the mountain, and the same thing happened again. The Native man went down and picked him up again and took him back up. He explained again and again about it. The eagle started to flex his wings. His keen eye sight started to return, and the strength in him started to come back.
So he let the eagle go again, and this time the eagle soared with the wind before he fell back down. He was hopping on the ground this time. He was shaking his wings and looking around. Again, the [Native man] explained who he was and what he represented. When he threw the eagle off this time, the eagle flew and soared and everything came back to him, who he was and that he wasn’t a chicken. He wasn’t like anybody else, he was completely different. He gained everything he’d lost because where he was placed and put.