A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in the nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled and he would thrash his wings and fly a metre in the air. Years passed and the eagle grew very old.

One day, he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings. The old eagle looked up in awe. “Who is that?”, he asked. “That is the eagle, the king of the birds”, said his neighbour. He belongs to the sky; we belong to the earth. We are chickens.

So, the eagle lived and died a chicken, because that is what he thought he was.

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