There once was an environmentalist travelling through the countryside. One day he reached a farm with a lot of chickens in a small enclosure. When he got closer he was very shocked: Among the chickens he could clearly see an eagle walking around. And it was behaving just like a chicken.
The environmentalist was very upset, and looked around until he found the farmer. He then asked him why he had an eagle among his chickens. The farmer looked at him and couldn’t understand the question. – That is no eagle, he said. It is born and raised as a chicken, and as you can see, it behaves like a chicken. Then it is a chicken.
The environmentalist was quite shocked, and asked the farmer if he could test the eagle flying. The farmer just laughed at him, because obviously, the eagle couldn’t fly.
The environmentalist insisted, and so the farmer let him go and get the eagle-chicken and carry it out on his arm. But the bird was just very afraid, and if the environmentalist hadn’t had a thick leather piece around his arm, he would have been severely hurt. The eagle wouldn’t fly, and he had to let it back in.
- Just like I told you! That stupid creature is no eagle anymore. It cannot fly, because then it would have left long time ago, said the farmer with a smile on his face. But the environmentalist wouldn’t give up. He asked the farmer to try once more, maybe running with it around the farm, making it feel the wind in the feathers. The farmer just looked at him and couldn’t see any reason for it, but wouldn’t stop that strange environmentalist either. So the environmentalist got the bird and started running around the farm with it, feeling the strong grip in his arm. But no way, the bird wouldn’t let go.
The farmer thought that the environmentalist now would give up. But no, he wanted to try again. -Let me go to that hill behind the farm, he said, and then I am sure the eagle will fly. And the farmer couldn’t but let him try; he knew what would be the outcome and sat down to wait.
At the top of the hill the environmentalist lifted his arm with the eagle, showing it the mountains, the forests, the lakes and a river in the distance. They could also see the farm far below them. – Now, go, show him, and show us, you are an eagle and no chicken!
First the eagle took an even stronger grip around the man’s arm. But then it seemed he straightened his neck and looked around in a new way, like he was seeing the world for the first time. Then he carefully stretched out his wings, like he was discovering new parts of his own body. And when the environmentalist lifted him even higher, he all of a sudden let go of the arm and started flying. At first he would lose height, almost hitting the ground below them. But then his wings started working, lifting him higher and higher, carrying him high above the hills, the treetops and the mountains, disappearing from the sight of the environmentalist.
It would happen that the eagle would fly back to his chicken farm, even longing for the security and simplicity of the life behind the fence, where food and shelter was provided at all time. But still he knew that he actually was an eagle, born to fly high, to hunt for his own food and to live the free life he was created to live.