A baby eagle became orphaned when something happened to his parents. He glided down to the ground from his nest but was not yet able to fly. A man picked him up. The man took him to a farmer and said, “This is a special kind of barnyard chicken that will grow up big.” The farmer said, “Don’t look like no barnyard chicken to me.” “Oh yes, it is. You will be glad to own it.” The farmer took the baby eagle and placed it with his chickens.

The baby eagle learned to imitate the chickens. He could scratch the ground for grubs and worms too. He grew up thinking he was a chicken.

Then one day an eagle flew over the barnyard. The eagle looked up and wondered, “What kind of animal is that? How graceful, powerful, and free it is. It would be thrilling to soar like that!” Then he asked another chicken, “What is that?” The chicken replied, “Oh, that is an eagle. But don’t worry yourself about that. You will never be able to soar like that.” The eagle replied, “I guess you are right, and I might fall out of the sky if I tried.”

Afraid to challenge what the chicken told him, afraid to take a hard look and recognize that he was fully capable of soaring, the eagle went back to scratching the ground. He continued to behave like the chicken he thought he was.

Finally he died, never knowing the grand life that could have been his. Never knowing what it felt like to soar.

Are you really an eagle who thinks he’s a chicken?