SEPTEMBER 01, 1968 by JAMES E. MCADOO
Experimenting, Nature’s hand once flung a fledging from its aerie’s lofty roost, and for a moment, one bright arrow hung suspended where no other had been loosed; one bold bald eagle bravely learned to fly where timid wings had never brushed the sky.
On currents unsuspected until then, one eagle soared, alone, and unconfined by instincts binding goose and pelican to paddle in a wake, to fly behind the bird ahead; to go where leaders went. One eagle circled freely, free, content.
But, faintly, to the eagle’s lone domain there rose enticing songs of happiness from birds who never had to brave the rain, or bear the winter’s numbing, fierce caress. And as the eagle faced survival’s tasks, he came to doubt the price that freedom asks.
Today, the eagle claws a shredded limb, unblinking eyes fixed more than miles beyond his cage, and broods upon the empty hymn that brought him drifting slowly to the ground: Free now, from tyranny of endless sky; Free not to hunt, or build a nest, or fly.