An American Indian tells about a brave who found an
eagle's egg and put it into the nest of a prairie chicken. The
eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with
All its life, the changeling eagle, thinking it was a prairie
chicken, did what the prairie chickens did. It scratched in
the dirt for seeds and insects to eat. It clucked and cackled.
And it flew in a brief thrashing of wings and flurry of
feathers no more than a few feet off the ground. After all,
that's how prairie chickens were supposed to fly.
Years passed. And the changeling eagle grew very old. One
day, it saw a magnificent bird far above in the cloudless
sky. Hanging with graceful majesty on the powerful wind
currents, it soared with scarcely a beat of its strong golden
"What a beautiful bird!" said the changeling eagle to its
neighbor. "What is it?"
"That's an eagle - the chief of the birds," the neighbor
clucked. "But don't give it a second thought. You could
never be like him."
So the changeling eagle never gave it a second thought and
it died thinking it was a prairie chicken.