Parable of the Eagle

An eagle egg fell into a farmer’s chicken shed

and when it hatched the farmer gave it chicken feed

even though he was the king of birds. The farmer


clipped the eaglet’s princely beak and raised him

as a chicken. When he grew large, wildlife control

called on the farm. “It has the heart of an eagle,”


said the public servant. “It will fly.” And the farmer

asked, “What if he likes it here with all the chickens?”

As they spoke, the birds crept off to don disguises.


Soon they couldn’t tell the eagle from the hens

so they carried the strongest-looking bird to the

farmhouse balcony and said, “You’re a regal eagle


not a lowly chicken. Go find your place in the sun!”

And they tossed one bird into the air together every

night until they fell in love, the farmer and the guy


from wildlife control, and got so hungry that they

ate roast eagle under a chicken-dotted sky.

Bibliographical info

“Parable of the Eagle” by David Alexander from After the Hatching Oven, Nightwood Editions, 2018,

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