“Ancient Tales of Wisdom” remind us of the traditions and moral values that have been treasured all over the world. We hope the stories and messages in this series help uplift the hearts and minds of our readers.
“The Trust of an Eagle” is about an eagle—the king of all birds—that grew up among barnyard chickens and how it eventually discovered its might to soar high up in the sky as it was born to do.
This retold tale is part of a specially dedicated children’s collection of audio stories and original illustrations compiled and produced in 2012 as part of the “Ancient Tales of Wisdom” program by the Sound of Hope Radio Network.
Listen to the audio story, or read it below, and be transported into another world!
Listen to Audio Story:
One day, a man was out walking through the woods when he heard the sound of a chick nearby.
There on the ground was an eagle chick with its new down feathers, huddled in the tall grass. The man picked it up and took it home. He placed it among his chickens and fed it the same food as he did the others. The chick was content with his feathered friends in the barnyard, grew in size, and fed along with the fowls each day.
Three years later, a friend of the man returned to their village and came to visit. As the two men talked of their lives, they walked through the barnyard, and the friend suddenly stopped and said, “That bird, it’s an eagle, not a chicken. Why is he in your coop?”
“Yes, my friend, you are right,” said the man. “but I have trained him to be a chicken, so he doesn’t know that he is an eagle. I will keep him here in the barnyard. He will never fly.”
“No,” said the friend, “he is still an eagle. He has the heart of an eagle. He can be taught to fly.” The friend felt sad for the bird and wanted to set it free, to fly high in the sky as it should.
The men talked it over and agreed to try to teach it to fly.
The next morning, they met in the barnyard. The friend picked up the eagle and, looking at the ‘king of all birds,’ said, “You are an eagle, you belong not to the earth, but to the sky. Spread forth your wings and fly.”
The eagle cocked his head and looked at the man. Appearing confused and puzzled, he looked around and saw the other chickens eating not far away, so he jumped down to be with them.
“I told you, my friend, he is a chicken. He cannot fly,” said the man.
“No,” stated the friend. “I know he can fly. We shall try again.”
The next day, the friend arose early and took the bird to the edge of the barnyard. He held the great bird up high and, once again, said, “You do not know, but you are an eagle, you belong to the sky. Stretch forth your wings and fly!”
The eagle, again, just stood there not knowing what to do. He turned his head in all directions, looking for something that was familiar to him; and then, with his eagle eyes, saw his friends in the distance and, once again, jumped down and ran to join them.
But the friend was not discouraged. He made a third attempt to set the eagle free.
On that morning, the friends met again very early, and with the eagle in hand, hiked to the top of a hill just outside of town. As the sun peeked over the horizon, and orange and gold filled the sky, the friend lifted the eagle to face the magnificent sunrise; he then spoke reverently, but with mighty power: “You are an eagle, the king of the birds; you belong not to the earth, but to the sky. Spread forth your wings and fly!”
With that, the bird felt the wind stir in his feathers. He began to tremble, took a huge breath, and—with one great stroke of his wings—lifted off and began to fly toward the majestic sun, circling higher and higher till he soared far beyond the horizon.
Does this majestic ‘king of the birds’ remember his friends, and does he fly high over the only home he knew as a chick, to keep an eagle-eye on his barnyard friends? Only he will ever know!
This tale, “The Trust of an Eagle,” is reprinted with permission from the “Ancient Tales of Wisdom—Student Workbook” published by the Sound of Hope Radio Network. Audio and illustrations by Sound of Hope Radio Network. Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved.