The Eagle’s Egg by John Powell
All the passages below are taken from John Powell’s book “Stories from my Heart,” published in 2001.
There is a story about an eagle’s egg and an American Indian who found it. The story tells the plight of an American Indian who finds an eagle’s egg on the ground, outside its nest. The Indian searches for but cannot find the nest. Eagles traditionally nest high up in trees.
So with the very best of intentions, the Indian puts the egg into the nest of a prairie chicken. There it hatches.
When the eagle comes out of the egg, it looks around to see what it is supposed to be doing. It sees the other prairie chickens rising a few feet above the earth, then cawing and clawing at the earth. So it does the same.
Near the end of its life it sees a bird proudly flying overhead. It asks in astonishment, “What is that?” One of the prairie chickens that is nearby says, “That, my friend, is an eagle, but don’t ever think you can do what it does. Why, it flies right up into the sun. You’re a prairie chicken like the rest of us.”
The story ends sadly. The eagle dies thinking it is a prairie chicken.
Human beings are a lot like this. If we tell one another that we are prairie chickens, we will rise only a few feet above the earth. But if we tell a person that he is an eagle, why, he may fly right up into the sun.
We are like mirrors to one another.