July 1996 – Once upon a time in the long, long ago, the Eagle and the Chicken were very good friends. Everywhere they went these friends went together. It was not uncommon for people to look up and see the Eagle and the Chicken flying side by side through the air.
One day while flying, the Chicken said to the Eagle: “Let’s drop down and get a bite to eat. My stomach is growling.”
“Sounds like a good idea to me,” replied the Eagle. So the two birds glided down to earth, saw several animals eating, and decided to join them. They landed next to the Cow. The Cow was busy eating corn, but noticed that the Eagle and the Chicken were soon sitting on the ground next to her.
“Welcome,” said the Cow. “Help yourself to this corn.”
This took the two birds by surprise. They were not accustomed to having other animals share their food quite so readily. “Why are you willing to share your corn with us?” asked the Eagle.
“Oh, we have plenty to eat here. Mr. Farmer gives us all we want,” replied the Cow. Well, the Eagle and the Chicken jumped right in and ate their fill. When they finished, the Chicken asked more about the Farmer.
“Well,” said the Cow, “he grows all our food. We don’t have to work for the food at all.”
“You mean,” said the Chicken, “that the Farmer simply gives you all you want to eat and you don’t have to work for it?”
“That’s right,” said the Cow. “Not only that, but he gives us shelter over our heads.” The Chicken and the Eagle were shocked! They had never heard of such a thing. They had always had to search for food and work for shelter.
When it came time to leave, the Chicken and the Eagle began to discuss the situation. “Maybe we should just stay here,” said the Chicken. “We can have all the food we want without working for it. And that barn over there sure beats those nests we have been building. Besides, I’m getting tired of always having to work for a living.”
“I don’t know about all this,” replied the Eagle. “It sounds too good to be true. I find it hard to believe that one can get something for nothing. Besides, I kinda like flying high and free through the air. And providing for food and shelter isn’t so bad. In fact, I find it quite challenging.”
Well, the Chicken thought it over and decided to stay where there was free food and shelter. But the Eagle decided that he loved his freedom too much to give it up, and enjoyed the consistent challenge of making his own living. So, after saying goodbye to his friend the Chicken, the Eagle set sail for the wild blue yonder.
Everything went fine for the Chicken. He ate all he wanted. He never worked. He grew fat and lazy. But then one day he heard the farmer say to his wife that the preacher was coming to visit the next day and they should have fried chicken for dinner. Hearing that, the Chicken decided it was time to leave. But when he began to fly he found that he had grown too fat and lazy. Instead of being able to fly, he could only flutter! So the next day the farmer’s family and the preacher ate fried Chicken.
When you give up the challenges of life in pursuit of security, your ability to fly turns into a flutter. And that’s the reason Eagles fly and Chickens flutter.