Native American Legends
Graying of an Eagle
An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown
Along the hills that looked over a forested land, lived a great
eagle of black feathers and wild eyes. He perched on the highest
point, which was rocky and ragged.
Just below him was the nest where his two young sons and one daughter
sat, hungry and eager for adventure.
They screeched at their father, begging to go out on their own
for a few hours. They wanted to see things for themselves. They
liked the stories their parents told them, but they wanted to see
life outside the nest with their own eyes.
One day the father eagle grew tired of their screeching and told
them they could go out by themselves until the sun was directly
overhead. They scrambled out of their nest, laughing and singing.
They started to go down the rocky hill, not realizing how steep
it was and they ended up tumbling half way down the hill, rolling,
hitting rocks, scratching themselves on the sharp weeds.
Father eagle looked down at them and just shook his head. He felt
one of his feathers moan. He looked down at the feather and was
shocked to see that it had turned gray.
So, the process had begun; the graying of an eagle along the path
of his growing and wild children. Father eagle chuckled to himself
as he watched his children, remembering what he did when he was
One evening at sunset, young eagle decided to go on a night-flight
on his own, without telling his parents. He took off into the darkening
sky with confidence.
As he moved into the night a great wind came over the forest and
set the tree tops to dancing and swaying.
Young eagle was flying low and misjudged one of the tree tops.
The tree scraped his belly, grabbed at his wings and almost took
him down. Young eagle barely got away.
He then decided to fly really low, through the branches of the
trees. Suddenly he came upon a great owl, the owl was so frightened
that he shot straight up towards young eagle and slammed into young
eagle's left wing.
They both fell towards the ground, but managed to pull out of the
fall with their strong wings.
Young eagle went on his way, moving in a zig zag, for he was still
dizzy from the collision.
When he returned to his home at sunrise, he was bruised and scratched
up; his father was perched above the nest, angry, not a feather
moving. Young eagle knew he was in trouble, but he noticed a small
smile of pride at the corners of his father's eyes. He looked at
the left wing of his father, one of the feathers was gray. Young
eagle wondered what had happened.
Now, in the time of his own children, he knew what happened. There
is no end to this story.
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