wish to thank you, my young friends, for having saved my life, but
now it is time
for me to go."
Astounded that the eagle could speak, it was a moment before the
and then only at the nudging of the girl.
"Why?" he asked. "Why must you go? You
can stay here with us!"
The eagle smiled and shook his head. "No, I'm sorry, my
friends, but the people
in your village have found out about me.
They think you spend too much time here,
and they intend to come
here tomorrow and take me away."
Both the boy and the girl got tears in their eyes, saddened by his
"Don't be sad," the eagle continued. "You
have performed a wonderful healing,
and it is time for me to go.
I too have a home, and it is time to return to the
Land of the
Neither the boy or the girl knew what to say to this magnificent
bird. A lone tear
rolled down the girl's cheeks. The
boy sniffled, wiping his eyes, and then he got another idea.
"Take us with you! Let us go with you to the Land of
The eagle laughed softly. "No, I'm sorry. The
Land of the Eagles is a great journey.
In fact, I have
to fly through the heart of the sun itself."
"We don't mind. No one really likes us here! We
won't be any trouble." The seed
was planted, and the
boy began to beg more. The girl urged him, seeing some
in the request, her own eyes begging the eagle. "No one
likes us - they
treat us terribly. They don't even care most
of the time where we are! ...Your back ..."
As the boy begged on, the eagle closed his eyes and thought for a
When he opened them, the two became silent.
The eagle fixed his eyes upon
them and spoke again.
"I will give you the night to think about this. If you
truly wish to make this journey,
you must meet me here before the
sun comes up tomorrow morning. But
understand this: it
is a long journey, and we will fly through the heart of the sun.
If you make this journey, you may never be able to return again
The two looked at the eagle, mimicking his solemn look, and then
they looked at
each other. Grins burst upon their faces, and
the two turned and dashed out of the
meadow, running back toward
They sneaked into their homes and took what few belongings they
might need for their journey. Then they hid in
the woods, spending the night so
as not to be caught or delayed by
anyone in the village. They hardly slept a wink
night. Long before the sun came up, they were awake and on
way to the meadow.
As they walked into the meadow, the sun was coming up over the
an old tree stump, in the middle of the meadow,
was the eagle whose life
they had saved. He was stretching
and flexing his wings, loosening them for the
long journey ahead.
As the children approached, he let his wings come to rest at
sides, and he bowed again to them.
"I see you have made your decision," he said.
Both grinned widely and bobbed their heads up and down.
The eagle smiled briefly and then got more serious.
"You must understand several
things," he said.
"This is a very long journey, and we will fly through the
the sun. It won't be dangerous, but when we pass
through the sun, you must close
your eyes or the sun will be so
bright that it will blind you. And also remember, that
you make this journey, you may never be able to return
The two looked at each other, and hesitation only crossed their
faces for a brief
moment. And again they both nodded.
"Then each of you climb upon one of my shoulders."
As they climbed onto his back, his weight shifted, adjusting to
the children there.
He bent his knees and spread his
tremendous wings. Then he leaped up, beating
his wings with
great speed and force, trying to rise with the children on his
At first it didn't seem as if he would be able to lift
them, but inch by inch he began
to climb with the children hanging
on tightly. Soon he settled into a steady beat
of his wings,
strong and smooth. He circled the meadow and then began
As they reached treetop level, the children looked down off of the
back of the eagle.
They saw a line of villagers moving
through the woods toward the meadow, and
they knew that what the
eagle had told them was true. They immediately began
laughing, knowing they had gotten away.
That laughter carried down from the back of the eagle, and the
villagers looked up.
They saw the young boy and girl on the
back of the eagle. They started hollering
up at them, but by that time the eagle had climbed so high their
were lost in the wind. Still the eagle climbed
Before long, the eagle and children disappeared into the heavens,
and the eagle
began the long journey toward the sun. He flew
for what seemed an eternity to the
children, and they began to
wonder if they would be able to last. Then they
The eagle looked back over his shoulder at each of them, and he
"Close your eyes." They closed their eyes,
and the eagle passed through
the heart of the sun!
As they came out the other side, their eyes opened and they looked
about them in
A golden sky surrounded them.
Below them was a beautiful, rich green land.
diving, and screeching around them were thousands of eagles!
Slowly they began to circle down toward the land below. With
a powerful flapping
of its wings, the eagle landed softly in the
grasses.The children slid off his back
and watched as all
of the eagles dropped out of the sky and formed a circle about
them on the ground.
Then together they all bowed to the young girl and boy. The
eagle whose life
they had saved stepped forward. He stood
before them, not saying a word,
and then with his wing he
brushed under his beak and began to push it back.
children's eyes widened. This was nothing more than an
eagle's head mask!
Next he shrugged his shoulders and a suit of feathers dropped off
of him onto
the ground. This wasn't an eagle at all!
Then all of the eagles surrounding them brushed back their eagle's
shrugging off their own suit of feathers. The
children stared, wide-eyed and then
realized that this wasn't the
Land of the Eagles.
This was the Land of the Spirit People!
The one whose life they saved looked at them and spoke softly and
with great love:
"In time, my young friends, we will
make for you your own suit of feathers. And
we will teach
you how to fly!"
The next year and a day was the happiest the two had ever lived.
They got their
own eagle's head mask and their own suit of
feathers, and they were taught how
to fly.They would spend
their days soaring and sailing through the clouds and over
At the end of that year and a day, the boy got another idea:
"Wouldn't it be great
to go back to the village now.
Wouldn't it be great to show them what we can do?
treat us differently. Tey'd love us now. We're eagle
people. We can fly!"
The little girl shook her head vehemently. She wanted
nothing to do with such an
idea, but the seed was planted.
The boy began to speak of it more and more.
"They'll treat us differently. We can fly.They won't make fun
of us. They are our true family ..."
The more he talked, the more he began to persuade the girl.
Finally, he convinced
her, and so one morning they arose before
all of the others.They put on their suits of
feathers and their
eagle's head masks, and they took to the sky. Before long
disappeared into the heavens and began the long journey back
through the sun to their village.
They paused at the sun, looking at each other, and they flew
straight on. They
passed through the sun's heart, and when they
came out the other side, they
were circling their own village.
It was morning at the village, and the people were just rising and
cooking fires. They saw the shadows of the two
large birds circling on the ground.
They looked up and saw two
magnificent eagles soaring over head, descending
village. The villagers began running around, waking everyone up.
This was a sign!... This was something wondrous!
The villagers gathered, watching as the two eagles descended and
in their midst. The villagers backed up, unsure of
what to do, but amazed at the
wondrous sign that had come to them.
The boy and the girl stood together - not moving - enjoying the
looked at each other, and then each brushed a wing
under the beak and pushed back
the eagle's head mask.
The villagers gasped!