A farmer took his young son on a hike and they tramped through the meadows and woods. They hiked through the pines and up over the hills.
They climbed the steep mountains and finally, high above the timber line, scaled the crags and peaks they saw a giant eagle soaring overhead. They scanned the cliffs and finally located the eagles nest. The boy climbed up the cliff to where the nest was located. He reached into the nest, which rested on a ledge, and pulled out an egg, which he put inside his shirt. Then he climbed carefully back down the cliff.
He and his father returned home, and the boy put the egg in a nest where a hen was brooding over her eggs. By and by, when the eggs were hatched, each delivered a small chick except the one from which a young eaglet was hatched. Months passed and the eaglet matured.
After the eagle was full grown, a naturalist was driving down the highway out in the country. As he drove by the farmer’s yard, he saw the giant eagle. He slammed on his brakes, got out of the car, and went over to the fence. He could hardly believe his eyes. He opened the gate, walked into the yard, and found the farmer. ‘Where did you get that eagle?’ he asked.
The farmer said, ‘It’s a chicken.’ The man responded: ‘I am a naturalist. I know all about these things, and I tell you that is an eagle. Furthermore, I’ll prove it.’ He picked up the eagle, put it on his arm, and said, ‘Thou art an eagle-fly.’ The eagle hopped off his arm and began to scratch in the dirt like the chickens. The farmer said, ‘I told you it was only a chicken.’
The naturalist asked for a ladder. He leaned it against the barn. Then he carried the eagle up on top of the barn. He stood at the peak of the roof on the barn, placed the eagle on his arm, and said, ‘Thou art an eagle-fly.’ The eagle swooped down into the yard below and began scratching in the gravel. The farmer hollered up, ‘I told you it was a chicken.’
The man climbed down off the barn. He made an agreement with the farmer and the next morning, long before sunrise, he picked up the eagle. He carried it through the woods and over the meadows. He continued up into the hills and the pines, onward, upward, above the timberline to the peaks and crags and pinnacles of the mountains. He arrived at the mountaintop just before dawn.
As the first rays of the sun began to streak across the sky, he put the eagle on his arm. The fresh, cool winds came through the valleys and trees below and swept up to the cliff where the naturalist stood. The eagle breathed deeply. The first streaks of sunlight caught his eye. He stretched his giant wings, almost six feet across. The naturalist said, ‘Thou art an eagle-fly.’
The eagle slowly lifted off the naturalist’s arm. It ascended into the sky. It soared higher and higher and further and further.
It saw more in an instant than its companions had in an entire lifetime, and from that time forth it was never again content to be a barnyard fowl.