One day a young eagle fell off the nest and was picked up by a farmer. The farmer was kind enough to bring the small bird to his barnyard so that it doesn’t perish. The young eagle found a good home with the chicken and grew up believing he is a chicken. He waited for the farmer to bring food, he quacked when a chicken laid an egg, and he enjoyed running around and sitting in a hole in the ground on sunny days. Life was good and comfortable, and the eagle’s wildest adventure was to run under the fence with his friends to that cliff where they looked at the mountains and wondered what lied on their other side.
One day he was with his fellow chicken picking seeds off the ground when a shadow covered the sky above him. He lifted his gaze and was mesmerized by the sight of a beautiful eagle cruising the sky. Unlike other chicken that he saw trying to fly, this eagle didn’t seem to be making much effort. With his wings spread wide, he was flying smoothly and changing his direction with the slightest gesture. “Wow. Look at that!”, yelled the young eagle to his friends. “Who is that?”, he asked. “That’s an eagle”, replied a chicken. “He’s the king of the sky. But we belong here on earth. We are chicken.”, she continued. And the eagle staring at the bird disappearing in the horizon as if it was gliding on an invisible path that only he could see.
Days later, the old eagle was flying again over the barnyard and was stunned by the sight of an eagle running around with the chicken. He surged down to the ground. As the other birds saw him they ran back to hide in the house. He descended in front of the other eagle before he reached the door.
“What are you doing?”, asked the old eagle.
“What do you mean?”, answered the young one.
“What are you doing running around with chicken?”.
“I am a chicken. These are my brothers and sisters. I grew up with them.”
“No you’re not. You’re an eagle. You belong in the sky, not on the ground.”
“No I am not. I am one of them. All I know is to do as they do, and to eat what they eat. I can’t even fly.”
“You can’t because you never tried. But you’re an eagle, just like me”.
“Even if what you say is true, I’ve lived all my life as a chicken. I am not an eagle anymore”.”
“It’s the heart of an eagle that matters, not the way he lived or ate… Come with me”
The eagle took another look at his friends hiding in the comfort of home. “Don’t listen to him!”, yelled one of the chicken. “He is tricking you”,” said another. “ If you go with him, you will die!”. “ Come back and be with us”…
But deep inside the eagle’s heart, a faint voice told him what he needed to do. He took one more gaze at the barnyard where he spend all his life playing with his friends, then turned around and followed the older eagle.
A moment later, the arrived at the cliff he used to visit sometimes with his friends. They stood next to each other on the edge looking at the mountains in the distance. Without a second of hesitation, the old eagle jumped off the edge, spread his wings and soared upward.
The young eagle looked down the cliff and trembled. He’d never flown before. May be he would die. May be he should go back.
“Don’t look down.”, the old eagle said “Look up at the sky. Aim toward the sun. Give it a bit of faith.”
The young eagle lifted his sight up, spread his wings and leaped…
Back at the barnyard, the chicken heard a triumphant cry that ascended to heaven. Their feather trembled and they looked at each other without exchanging a word. They know they will miss their brother a lot. They know he might visit some day and tell them how it felt to fly. And they will gather around to hear his stories about the lands he visited. But for the time being, they would keep doing what they did best: living as chicken.