The Making of an Eagle


A large box with gold wrapping and a big beautiful satin red ribbon was sitting in the middle of the room. The woman opened it and on the top flap of the brown box she read the words, “Some assembly required.”  On the other side of the box the words were expressed as a warning, “Fragile! Handle with care!”

The woman to whom the box was delivered was very excited. She had waited so long for its arrival. She took the contents out and carefully started the assembly process. It all started out well, pieces coming together, little by little. Then as the job of assembly got harder and the pieces to assemble got more complex, the interest of the assembler waned, her patience faded and she abandoned the box and its remaining contents. It all laid there on the floor.

For years people walked around the box and its pieces, kicked at it, looked it over, and every now and again someone would pick up a piece and try to find out where it fit. Mostly the poor mess was just ignored. Pretty soon some of the parts started to rust and the box faded. The ribbon frayed and dust collected. Finally one of the people in the house decided to throw the whole thing into the trash pile. So they did. There was some sadness about this decision and lots of talk, but after a few days the box and its scattered contents was forgotten and the people went about their business.

The rains of spring, the snow of winter, and the summer heat came and went. The box was all but gone now, with not a trace of the ribbon or the wording or anything. The contents were very rusted, very broken and many of the pieces were buried under the rest of the trash and debris. There seemed no hope for what was once a gift in a warm house. The gift was very sad and lonely and wondered if she would ever be liberated from this awful place.

“Oh! If only someone would see my beauty and put me together. I would bring such happiness to that person if someone would just care!”

Finally one day, an old junk dealer who came upon the trash heap saw a glitter in the contents, picked up the piece and discovered one that matched. He became very curious and dug and picked until he had some pieces that looked like they would be something interesting, if assembled right.

He put all the pieces he could find in his wagon and took it home to his workbench where he began to piece the puzzle together. It was a hard job, many of the pieces were missing or damaged, but there was enough curiosity in the old man and some of the pieces were just odd enough that he just knew it was going to be something special. Maybe it would bring him some money at the auction. So night after night and months later, he starred to see a shape forming and he got very excited. This was special and he was very happy that he was persistent.

Here before him was a beautiful wing. It had been so rusty but with a lot of polish it was now beautiful and none the worse for wear. There was also a head forming with a wonderful place for the eyes. He found some polished and colored glass to put there. This was a fine project and he was pleased!

More and more of this magnificent form was coming together and it became apparent this was an eagle: a beautiful bird with a gold wing and one glass foot to match the glass eyes. The body of the bird was pretty much together and the tail needed some work, but all in all, she was almost together.

“If I could just find the other wing, that most beautiful gold wing, she would be together, and of course I need another foot to match the other one.” So the old man got busy and started his search for the gold wing and the glass foot.

Eagle sat on the workbench waiting for the old man to bring her the new wing. She was so grateful to him for all he had done. She was feeling better and looking forward with much hope to her liberation day. “Oh what a day that will be to fly free! It won’t be long now, “she thought,” not long at all!”

Something was wrong, for the old men didn’t come back to his little shed, to the workbench where the eagle sat waiting. Many days passed, and Eagle was getting frightened.

“Oh I am so close to being complete, so close to being free. Why has he not returned? What has happened to my friend?”

“Too bad about the old man.” Eagle heard from a person outside the shed, “How did he die?”

“Dead!” “He is gone?” Eagles tears flowed from her glass eyes.

Winter was leaving the land and spring was coming. The birds were chirping and building their nest, but this made Eagle very sad for she wanted to fly and it was so dark and lonely on that workbench. Finally one warm moonlit night, the door to the shed opened just a crack. Some of the moonlight streamed in.

“How beautiful is this soft silvery light,” Eagle thought. “And who is at the door?”

The giggles were that of children playing, acting curious on a warm summer night. They opened the shed door and entered. “Wow!” Look at all this neat stuff.” They were very busy checking out all the things in the shed but they didn’t notice the eagle perched up on the higher bench until one of the children bumped into it and almost knocked Eagle over.

“Look at this neat bird!” “It’s really pretty. Let’s take it home to Mom and Dad!”

When morning came Eagle was sitting on a kitchen table with her one gold wing and one glass foot. Covered with dust and looking a little sad, she was not exactly presentable as a gift to the children’s parents. But these people were not ordinary people. They were in show business, in fact magicians, and they were used to odd, strange and sometimes dusty things.

“Hey kids, where did you get the bird?” “We’ll use it in our magic act, but we’ll have to repair it first. Where are we going to find another gold wing?”

Show business and the magic acts had been slow and they had been in a slump for a while, so when they introduced this new act, “The Disappearing Eagle,” and it became popular, they ere delighted. Eagle felt useful too. Especially since she still had only one wing.

It was good to be working and part of things. In fact the act got so popular Mr. and Mrs. Magician decided to add jewels and shinning and shimmering things to Eagle’s body. She received bright emerald eyes to replace the glass ones and ruby studded leggings. There were gold and silver bangles and rings and things and she was looking very, very, beautiful.

Then the big day arrived. The day Eagle dreamed of and had waited for. Her beautiful gold wing was found and when they put it on she came alive!

“I’m alive!” “I can move!” Eagle took to the sky on the first flight of her life. She was free! She could fly! Mr. and Mrs. Magician understood her need to be free and let her go on her journey. They loved her very much and sent their blessings when she flew away.

As Eagle flew higher and higher she looked back on her life and became very sad. She was angry that people threw her away and ignored her. She thought about all the time that was wasted and all the things she would have done if given the chance. As she circled and soared high in the sky she looked below and saw that people and houses and all those ground things were very small. She looked above her and saw the Sun in all its brilliance and the clearness of the sky itself.

Below was her past and above was her future and she had to make a choice as to what she would do with her life right then and there. Suddenly she realized that the past was a foreign place with good and bad things and the future was where she was heading, and now was what she had.

She thought of herself as a child, put on hold and how as a child she was abandoned, abused and thrown away. She realized she had been deprived of choices and freedom, how lonely and sad that was. But a few good people came and helped piece her together and there was some love around. She knew even just a little love was powerful in the trash heap of darkness and despair.

She remembered that small silver, sliver of light that appeared in the shed and how it grew into a bright light, that saved her life; it repaired her, the child. She made up her mind to take her past experience and turn it into healing the broken children of the world. If she gave more love to the world she ask out loud, “Do you know what would happen?”

Suddenly words written in big letters appeared in the sky and she saw–




Eagle looked ahead, closed her eyes, spread her wings and let the current take her to her destiny. And finally she was free.



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Grace E. Reed

I have a MA in Conflict Resolution, a BA in Drama Therapy am a mediator, published writer (Negotiating Shadows and Needs) a broadcaster for radio on disability awareness. I work with street youth, the homeless, addicted people, and have been a social activist for over 35 years. Occupy WS Portland, Oregon is a passion. Eagles World Studio is up and running. My heart responds to poetry and my head hears it in everything I do. My motto is 'stay curious, be kind and keep moving'. My new book 'Negotiating Shadows: Journey to the Sun' published by George Ronald Publisher, Oxford England and available through my website.

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