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.