The Eagle and the Chickens
(a poetic adaptation of an anonymous story, 1977 by Judy Nelson)
One day I worked in meadow and field.
The soil I plowed and planted and tilled.
My mind was on matters far from this ground.
When fluttering, struggling, an eaglet I found.
How had she wandered so far from her home?
Her parents not near, she was lost and alone.
Mostly just stunned, her wounds were not bad.
She didn't fight, but was tired and sad.
I carried her back to my home-fire near.
To tend to her wounds and allay any fear.
My chickens adopted her into our coop.
Food and protection with this motley group.
The days passed quickly and she grew strong.
Soon ready to fly back where she belonged.
She learned to scratch and peck and scratch.
These poultry, not nearly her match.
Proud she grew, but still stayed on…
I knew her wings were sufficiently strong.
Had she forgotten how to fly?
To hover regally through the sky?
I wondered what's wrong, then sought to try
To coax this young eagle now to fly.
"Fly little eagle, up to that blue!"
At last I caught my aristocrat creature,
And took her where the mountains could teach her.
"Other eagles live here," I told her, "I know."
Then urged her again, "You've got to go."
"Rise to your talent, you gained at your birth."
"Rise up from the fence, the coop, and the earth."
"Fly, little eagle", I eagerly cried.
Nudged her, encouraged. She finally tried.
Proudly, she soared, first to the tree.
Then, to the cliff, then back to me.
"Go on," I urged. "You CAN arise!"
Then, joyfully, she flew up to the skies.
Up past the trees and circled from view.
I knew you could do it. Little eagle, I knew.