Friday, June 3, 2011

Open Up Them Wings, Baby!

Thought for the day:  Just because you're sitting  in a garage doesn't mean you're an automobile.

It's too hot for a heavy meal, but how about a little food for thought? The following is loosely based on a story written by  James Agreey, entitled The Parable of the Eagle.

While traipsing through the woods one day, a farmer happened upon an eaglet, which he scooped up and carried home with him. He secured the young bird in the barnyard with his chickens, and before long, the eagle learned how to walk and squawk like a chicken, and to peck chicken feed from the ground.

A naturalist stopped by one day and demanded to know why the king of birds was confined to a barnyard and scratching around in it like a common chicken. The farmer claimed the bird was now a chicken. He'd been raised like a chicken and never taught to fly, so he was, in fact,  no longer an eagle. But (naturally) the naturalist insisted the bird still had the heart of an eagle, and could surely be taught to fly. And should be. Finally, the farmer agreed to let the naturalist try.

The naturalist picked up the eagle, and told him, "You're meant to be the king of the sky. Stretch forth your wings and fly!"

But the eagle was frightened. He looked back at all his chicken friends pecking corn from the ground, and jumped down to join them.

The next day, the naturalist tried again, and took the eagle up to the roof. Again, he told him, "You're an eagle, the king of the skies. Stretch forth your wings and fly!"

But once again, the frightened bird jumped back down to the safety of the chicken yard.

The third day, the naturalist carried the bird to a nearby mountain. He held the eagle high above him, and said, "You are an eagle, the king of the skies. Spread forth your wings, and fly!"

The bird hesitated at first. He looked back toward the farm, back to the only life he knew. Then he trembled, stretched his mighty wings, and with a triumphant cry, soared into the sky.

It's possible the eagle sometimes misses the chickens; he may even visit the barnyard once in a while for old time's sake. But as far as anyone knows, he's still living as an eagle, the king of the skies.

How about you? Are you still hanging around in the barnyard because you're too frightened to stretch your wings? Never let someone else's definition of you and your capabilities prevent you from trying. Because, you too, are an eagle, and you owe it to yourself to fly. Schoolchildren aren't the only ones with untapped potential.

Before we go on to the Weird News Stories of the Week, let's take a glimpse at a couple other items worth mentioning:

  • Don't get too comfortable with the fact that the Apocalypse didn't happen on May 21, because now preacher Harold Camping says he merely miscalculated. Now he says the big day to end all big days is coming on October 21.
  • Residents of Cordova, Alabama are struggling to put their lives back together following the tornadoes that destroyed so many of their homes, but their I-sincerely-doubt-if-he'll-be-reelected mayor has opted to heap insult on top of their injuries. He just said NO to the temporary housing offered by FEMA's mobile homes. Says they're single-wide, and according to local ordinance, illegal within their city limits. Guess he doesn't have a problem with people living in tents.
  • For those of you writing e-books, the New York Times now has a separate listing on their best sellers' lists for e-books. Sounds rather encouraging, don't you think?
  • I'm not Jewish, but a recent story in the newspaper about a special bat mitzvah ceremony held  in the Atlanta area caught my eye. Traditionally, this is a coming-of-age ceremony for 13-year-old girls, but the women participating in this particular ceremony ranged in age from their early 40s to early 80s. For whatever reason, they were unable to come of age when they were youngsters, but after completing an intense year of study, these women proved it's never too late to soar. 
OK, here we go, the WEIRD STORIES OF THE WEEK:

***  While enjoying an airboat ride on the Suwannee River in Florida, a young lady unexpectedly crossed paths with a sturgeon. And lost. The sturgeon, between five and six feet long, and weighing approximately seventy pounds, jumped out of the water and into the boat, and unfortunately, broke the damsel's leg in the process. Although some tried to characterize the encounter as as "attack", it wasn't. Nothing personal, lady. Sturgeons jump. That's what they do. Three days earlier, the state issued a warning about the potential danger posed to boaters by jumping sturgeon, but now I'm thinking ...  maybe the sturgeon general should've issued one, too.

*** Another Florida story, and this one's about a St. Lucie couple who are serious about their shooting. Most people have a TV in their bedroom, but this couple upped the ante considerably. They have a wood and metal target inside their bedroom closet. Handy when there's nothing good on TV, I suppose. Anyway, neighbors called the police on this freqently fighting couple recently, and when police arrived, the wife said she fired an AR-15 rifle at the target in her future ex-husband's bedroom, missed, killed a washing machine, and accidentally flooded the place. Yes, a considerable amount of alcohol allegedly led to the death of the innocent washing machine.

*** The final story is from Lithuania, where an online survey held by a local radio station indicated Lithuanian men felt the need for a day set aside to honor them. So, the station obliged. They declared a National Men's Day, and to commemorate the auspicious occasion, hosted an unusual swimming competition. Inflatable sex dolls were used as rafts. More than two hundred men registered, but only twenty were selected to participate. And that .... is all I'm gonna say about THAT!

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other. 


  1. "Sturgeon General"

    :falling over: bwahahahaha

  2. We all sometimes pretend we are eagles, but more than not, we're chickens at heart.

  3. Great parable. Even if you suspect you're a chicken, it still doesn't hurt to try out those wings. You never know. You might just find out you ARE an eagle.

    And Sturgeon General? *groaning and laughing*

  4. Really liked your eagle story! Shared it on Twitter :)

  5. You are the best storyteller I've ever met. You should be a writer.

    And I'll go along with the rest of 'em. Sturgeon General. O.M.G.

    The poor washing machine. Leaking it's guts out all over the floor like that.

    Have a great weekend.

    Hey, how you feeling by the way? I hope a little better anyway.

  6. My mind has definitely been improved!

    As for the Eagle story, I did my wing-spreading between 1964 and 2010. Now I simply encourage (and watch) others.

  7. Hi, All. Thank you so much for your comments.

    Skippy- Oh, no you don't! Don't you dare be falling on my account!! Glad I tickled your funny bone, dear lady. Take care.

    Starting Over- Remember that song about "whistling a happy tune"? If we pretend we're not afraid, we'll grow to believe it; pretend we're eagles, and make it so. If an eagle can be trained to behave like a chicken, there's no reason we chickens can't learn to soar with the eagles. For me, the heart and soul are always that of an eagle; it's the flesh that leans toward chicken.

    Linda- Yup, even if we don't fly as high as we'd like, it beats sitting in the dirt, looking up to watch our dreams fly away. Glad you liked the "sturgeon general"; it was just too good to resist.

    Danielle- Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Anne- HA! Thanks. I'll consider giving that writing thing a whirl. And yes, I am feeling a little better. Thanks for asking. As long as there's ample background noise, I'm getting pretty good at tuning out the tinnitus. And with a diminished awareness of the god-awful screech in my ears, the dizziness is more manageable, too. As long as I don't change positions too quickly. In this bloody heat, no problem there! Take care. I hope you have a super weekend.

    Cro- Encouraging others is important, but don't just watch! We old-timers can still do our own soaring, even if it's not as high as it used to be.

  8. I am feeling a definite prejudice against chickens here. Are they less because they cannot fly? Are they not as beautiful as other birds? Are their feathers the wrong color? Do they not make the best salad sandwich ever. And what would Kentucky Fried do without them?

  9. Starting Over- Oh, that's too funny! Well, um chickens are rather smellsome ... and I was not overly fond of sweeping their funky feathers out of my grandfather's chicken coops, either. BUT, they are definitely verrrrry tasty.

  10. Love the eagle / chicken analogy and the sturgeon general ... I have a cockerel who definitely thinks he's an eagle - but that may be because Eagle and Mushroom pie, Kentucky Fried Eagle and Eagle Chow mein sound a lot less likely :-)
    Enjoyed all your other news - I'm just surprised the single trailer item wasn't related to a British official, as we're that good at mindless beurocracy over here !!
    Thanks for dropping by at mine - and glad to catch up with you again.

  11. Have you ever smelled an eagle up close; I am sure they have no aroma of Channel #5 either.

  12. I enjoyed the message at the heart of your eagle story. Such an important one.

  13. Hi, Kara. You're right. Besides, fried chicken wings are my favorite, and eagle wings are just too darned big. Mindless bureaucracy is a perfect name for the mess with the trailers, and I have a feeling that sort of idiocy goes on all over the world.

    Starting Over- Ah, a comedienne, are ye? Too, too funny. If I weren't so way past ready for lunch, I'd try to come up with a snappy answer for what scent best suits those eagles, but eh, I got nothing. Guess my brain must reside in my belly.

    Florida- Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.