Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Parable Of The Eagle Who Thought He Was a Chicken

The Parable of The Eagle
Who thought He Was A Chicken
Here is a colorful allegory I sometimes use when I am mentoring young people. It parallels many truths.

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The gray ferret, Wagraye, was most wicked animal in the hundred mile forest. His crimes included stealing bird's eggs and kidnapping baby bunnies. He would break up the beaver's dam for no other reason than mischief, and steal the squirrel's nuts out of meanness. He was a murder who would kill not out of necessity but for the pleasure of it.

The Great Eagle was the King of the Skies and he despised the Grey Ferret. As he flew above the forest guarding over the innocent creatures he would search for the ferret so he may put a halt to the evil the malicious animal would do. The noble eagle hopped the ferret would repent of his wicked deeds and turn to do good, but sometimes the King of the Skies wished disaster would befall the ferret, so he watched and waited.

One day the wicked ferret went too far and for entertainment attacked a squirrel's nest hurting and maiming the baby squirrels. The eagle dove from the skies like a flaming angel of vengeance. His battle cry was a scream of living fury and spread terror over the forest. The ferret dodged the razor claws of justice and shouting his own war cry turned to attack. Many ferrets joined him and a great battle was fought across the grassy meadow. Dozens of ferrets swarmed over the eagle trying to overwhelm him by their many numbers. The eagle slashed and bit bringing death to many.

The brawl ended without warning when the bloodied ferrets fled to holes and hideaways. The eagle stood alone on a black stump of a tree in the midst of the blood stained meadow. Scattered all about the eagle lay ferrets; many dead and many more whimpering with broken bones and gushing wounds.

"You will pay for this attack!" The Grey Ferret yelled from a hole in the ground.

"You will pay for all the wrongs and evils you have done, Ferret." The eagle cried.

"Payment? What justice is this when you have slain my children, my clan, and my wife."

"It's no more than you have done to so many innocent creatures. Stay in your hole and never come out to do mischief again or my vengeance will be a hundredfold." The eagle spread his great wings and swooped into the sky.

"I'll teach you about vengeance." Muttered the bitter ferret. He slithered out of his hole and without a look at the injured and dead ferrets that covered the meadow he stalked off to carry out revenge. The ferret traveled to the heart of the hundred mile wood to a rocky mountain that rose like a ship sailing on a sea of forest. He climbed the rocky sides and scurried up cliffs. Day and night he climbed ignoring the heat until he reached the top far above the green forest. At the very pointed top of the mountain was the nest of the Great Eagle. In the nest was a single egg, it will hatch a son who would be the prince of eagles and one day take his place as king of the skies. The ferret waited and when the eagle soared away the ferret, like a master thief, stole the egg.

"I said I would get my revenge," he muttered gleefully to himself.

Down the cliff face he ran, jumped, and scampered. The ferret recklessly bounded over rocks and slid down gravely dusty paths. All the while he cradled the egg with as much love as a mother. It must not be hurt during the crazed decent. Not until the ferret came under the shadow of the many forest trees did he stop to rest. It was then that he heard the cry of the King Of The Skies. "Ferret! You have killed my son. You will pay for this wrong!"

"It is you who will pay." The vile rodent muttered. He slithered through bushes and under trees carrying the egg as if it were gold. Quickly and silently the ferret padded through the forest to its very edge and looked across the asphalt road to the Land of Man. Waiting until dark he crossed the road to a familiar place, the chicken farm.  The ferret had often entered by a secret way to steal and eat the eggs. This time he did not come to steal and eat an egg, this time he left an egg. The eagle's egg was lovingly placed in a chicken's nest in the chicken house.

"Now my ladies take good care of this one." He hissed to the chickens cowering in the corner. "It is a payback for the ones I took before. Teach him everything you know, make him the most chicken of all chickens there ever was."  The ferret slid like oil out into the night.

The eagle sought for the murderer for many days. Every day he felt the gash of grieving in his heart. How he vowed to deliver justice! From first hint of sunrise to the final dimness of dusk his piercing eyes roved the forest hungry for any sight of the despised one. At last, he saw the villainous rodent sunning himself boldly on a rock. With rage, the eagle swooped down from the sky and snatched the ferret in his claws.

"I got you now, you son of evil!" the eagle cried. "At last you shall pay for the death of my Son."

"Fool of a turkey you are, your son lives. Kill me you will never know where."

"You lie."

"No. Let me live and I will tell you where you will find your son."

"Tell me first and I will decide."

"No. I will tell you after you set me down safely."

The eagle seeing the ferret was stubborn and will not tell took him to a high rock that stood above the forest like a spike. Setting down the ferret where it could not escape the King of the Skies demanded, "Here, I have set you down. Now tell me where my son is."

"Ha! I am the winner! Your son is in the land of man, in a chicken house. He is living with the chickens and thinks he is one. Your son will never fly, he will never rule at your side. He will be a freak and laughed at by all creatures because he thinks he is a chicken. Your son will never be an eagle."

The King of the Skies let out a painful cry that was heard across the hundred mile forest. "Enjoy your rock." Raising his wings he lifted himself away. The ferret ran to the edge of the rock to see the sides were smooth as glass and too steep to climb down to the distant forest far below. Back and forth across the rock the ferret ran looking for a way down but now found none.

"Your majesty, my lord and king, you have done me wrong, you stranded me on this rock! I can't get down I will perish up here."

"Ha! We have both kept our word, you told me where my son is and I set you down safely. I will find my son and you will find justice." The great eagle flew away as the trapped ferret ran back and forth vainly seeking a way down.

Driven by passion the great eagle flew across the forest covering the many miles in a short time. From high in the clouds his keen eyesight soon found the chicken farm. He saw the prince of eagles, a lone large brown bird among hundreds of white, silly, foolish chickens. The Prince was scratching in the dirt just like a chicken, plucking at bugs and grain thrown by the farmer.

The King of the Skies called for his son to come to the heavens and join him as ruler of the skies. Over and over he called. The prince heard only the clucks of the chickens, a senseless noise he himself made for no reason except the hundreds of chickens around him did it. He never learned the language of eagles so his father's words were nonsense to him.

Every day the King of the Skies would fly above the chicken farm calling his son. He watched as the Prince became more and more like a chicken.  The Prince ran when the chickens ran, he ate what the chickens ate, he slept when the chickens slept. It broke the heart of the King of the Skies a hundred times over

The Prince was an eagle who thought he was a chicken because he knew nothing else. His heart had the fire to be something other than a chicken. He sensed he was meant to be more. He knew a bird such as him was not meant to live in the dirt and scratch the ground for bugs and eat corn like the foolish little birds around him.

The Prince tried to fulfill this inner prompting by attempting to be the ruler of the chickens. He was a prince even though he didn't know it and something deep inside him told him he should bring justice and order to the scattered-brained chickens. His efforts were wasted, for they were oblivious to his promptings to do right and they rejected his rule. When he tried to lead them they turned on him by the hundreds, pulling his feathers out and pecking at his exposed flesh with their hard pinching beaks.

The King of Eagles saw this attempt at fulfillment and grieved deeply for his son's frustration.

The Prince felt he was meant for more than a chicken coop. He tired to woo and win the favor of the chickens. He tried to romance the chickens and compete with the roosters. He was rejected by the chickens and becoming a source of jokes among the rosters. The prince found a corner of the chicken yard and sulked by himself sad and alone.

The King of Eagles saw this and cried out in grief for the prince's disappointment.

The Prince felt deep inside that he should be more than a bird sulking in a corner, he felt others were supposed to look up to him. He tried to be popular. Seeing one of the roosters clowning around he thought he would try to be a clown. He told jokes to the chickens and tried to do tricks to amuse them. But eagles do not have a sense of humor and his tricks looked awkward for eagles were made for majesty, not for comedy. He went back to the corner of the yard and felt sorry for himself.

The King of The Skies saw this from far above and his heart broke again for his son.

The Prince lifted his wings and wondered what they were and why. He had a feeling deep in his heart that these wings were for majestic glory.  He flapped them while squatting in the chicken yard. Something felt right but he didn't know what. He was afraid to wave his beautiful wings since none of the chickens ever did. As the chickens slept he hopped out in the chicken yard to flap his wings secretly but felt guilty as if he was breaking a rule. His guilt began to weigh him down until he gave into it and tucked his wings in.

The King of the Skies watched daily and daily mourned for what his son was becoming.

The Prince climbed the top of the chicken house. He spread his wings. "Watch everybody, I am going to fly." A few chickens looked around momentarily at his appeal. The prince leaned over the side of the house with spread wings and tumbled to the ground. Chickens ran around laughing. The prince went to the corner of the yard and felt sorry for himself.

The King of the skies could take it no longer.

The next dawn the sun rose over the chicken yard and shown on something new. When the chickens went into the yard a great bird sat in the midst of it. They kept away from this stranger. The Prince looked at the great bird. "What a beautiful bird!" I wish I could be like him.

The beautiful bird said, "Son, I've come."  But the Prince did not understand the language of the eagles since the only language he heard was the cluck, cluck, cluck of silly chickens. The King repeated, "Son, I've come to show you how to be what you are meant to be."   The awesome beauty of the commanding voice of the King terrified the Prince.

The King of Eagles lived among the chickens with the prince for many seasons. The prince admired the great bird though the chickens feared him. The king of the the skies was patient with all. Day by day he spoke to the prince. The language of eagles was beautiful to the prince, every sound would make his heart jump. Trying the sounds felt right and: slowly over time his understanding of the eloquent commanding language of great birds grew.

The King of Eagles began a daily routine of exercise in the middle of the chicken yard by flapping his huge wings, sending dust high into the yard.  The Prince would copy this and together they would flap their wings like two dancers. The Prince felt dormant urges to fly bubble up from his soul as his wings grew firm and strong.

The Prince began to feel that he was becoming what he was meant to be. He began to suspect that there was joy somewhere in the world and he might find it.

The King of Eagles taught the prince the way of the noble eagle. He taught about honor and integrity. He spoke of guiding the forest creatures well. He taught about the need to for a ruler to be fair and just. The more the prince learned about justice, protecting the weak creatures, and avenging the victims the more he felt his purpose was near.

After many seasons, the king said to the prince, "Bird. Do you know why you are here?"

"I am a chicken and chickens stay here."

"No. You are meant to be an eagle. You are meant to rule from the skies to be the bringer of justice and enforce fairness in the hundred mile wood."

These words sounded like golden sunlight to the prince's heart.

"But I am in a yard, I sleep in a chicken house. I live with the chickens."

"You are the Prince of the Skies stolen from my nest by a foe. I have taught you all I can teach here. You must follow me to take your true place in the skies." So the Great Eagle spread awesome wings and swept himself into the sky. "You must follow me to take your true place."

The Prince hesitated. The chicken farm was home; it was near, familiar, and he had a corner where he could sit and feel sorry for himself.

From above the King called down, "You are meant to be an eagle. If you don't follow me you will be a chicken, yet not a chicken, forever."

The Prince looked at the blue sky, it was so big, so far away; there was no ground, or fence, or chicken house. He hesitated. Around him were hundreds of chickens, scratching in the dirt, pecking for corn and bugs. It was a safe place and he knew it well.

The King of Eagles said one last word, it would be his final. "Come!"

The Prince felt the word echo to his core. "Come," resounded into his heart as if there was no other word in creation. "Come." He heard the call of his father, and he answered. He answered with a true eagle's scream that sent all the chickens fleeing like white tumbleweeds to the corners of the yard. Alone in the center of the chicken yard, he lifted wings and stretched his mighty wings up and swept them back with power. He felt his body, soul, and heart lift from the earth and with mighty beats of his wings he left the yard, and the chickens behind forever. Rising up, up, up he became the Prince of the Skies.

This allegory illustrates how we sense a need for more in our lives. We were made for better things than to be scratching in the dirt of the earth for meager trinkets. But we need someone to rescue us and bring us to the place we belong. 

If you want to know how Jesus can rescue follow this link: Salvation.

(C)Adron Dozat

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