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Gateway Counselling and Therapy Leicester

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The Chicken and The Eagle

Posted on November 8, 2013 at 7:54 AM
Adapted from James Aggrey's 'Parable of The Eagle' and James and Jongeward's 'Born To Win'.


Once upon a time, while walking through the forest, a certain man found a young eagle, only just from his mothers nest. He took it home and put the baby eagle in the Barnyard where he kept chickens. So it was that the eagle learned to eat chicken feed and behave as chickens behaved. Perhaps it's behaviour was so changed that the eagle believed he was a chicken and not an eagle.

One day a Naturalist passed by the farm and asked the owner why the eagle, who was now grown, was confined to live in the barn with the chickens when he should be free to fly and be who he really is? 

The owner replied: 'I have fed it on chicken feed, and it has lived its whole life believing it is a chicken, and now it has never learned to fly, never learned who he really is. He is no longer an eagle because he does not know he is an eagle. I have persuaded him he is a chicken.'

The Naturalist disagreed, seeing the hidden potential in the eagle. 'He is really an eagle' said the Naturalist, 'but he has been so confined his whole life, given the wrong messages, not allowed to be who he really is. But I believe he is still an eagle, and if we give him the freedom to discover and the chance to fly, I believe he can break free of those limitations and fly.'

The same day, they took the eagle to the forest, and the Naturalist held the eagle up gently and said to the eagle 'you have been lied to. You are not a chicken, You are an eagle. You belong to the sky, and to freedom. Stretch out your wings, do what is in your own nature and fly.'

The eagle however was confused. He did not know who he was. He was afraid to spread his wings and fly (even though he desperately wanted to). So it was that he returned to the barnyard and ate chicken feed. It was all he had known.

For the next few days the Naturalist took the eagle to the forest, to different places and challenged him to fly. Each day he would say the same thing: 'You have been lied to. You are not a chicken, You are an eagle. You belong to the sky, and to freedom. Stretch out your wings, do what is in your own nature and fly.' 

And each day the eagle who wanted to fly was afraid and returned to the barnyard and the familiarity of the lies he had been told about himself.

Then, one day, this day, now, the Naturalist took the eagle and held him high above his head. He said: 'You have been lied to. You are not a chicken, You are an eagle. You belong to the sky and to freedom. Stretch out your wings, do what is in your own nature, and fly.'

The eagle trembled, looked up into the sky, looked back at the farm in the distance behind him, and stretched out his wings. He let out the cry that only an eagle can cry, and took flight. It was an amazing sight. He flew, and then he soared. 

It may be that the eagle still remembers the chickens. Maybe he looks back and wonders why he ever believed the lies he was told about himself. Maybe he regrets not flying sooner. Or maybe he just flies and soars and does not look back.



Categories: Change, Life, Motivational, Stories

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