Eagle Ponders
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 by Frank Shortt
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On June 20, 1782 a momentous occasion occurred. The bald eagle was chosen as the emblem of the United States of America. It was chosen because of its long life; great strength, majestic looks, and could fly higher and see farther than any other bird of prey!

Benjamin Franklin, one of our founding fathers extolled the virtues of the turkey as being a more virtuous bird than the eagle. He stated that the eagle would rob other birds of prey to feed himself because he was so lazy. Be that as it may, the eagle was chosen and the eagle stays. The turkey today is put down as being someone who is unambitious, proud, and going nowhere.

If one could read the eagle's thoughts, what would he be thinking as he sees the hatred and division in the United States of America of whom he is the symbol? Would he be happy to represent this once majestic country? Would he be sorry that he was chosen as a symbol and would he wish that they had chosen the turkey instead? The question remains, "Are we acting like an eagle or a turkey?

There is turmoil on every hand! Brothers are fighting against brothers, sisters fighting against sisters! There are killings in every major, as well as, minor city on every corner on any given day of the week. The eagle must be thinking, "Boy, I am glad I'm not part of the human race! With the depletion of wildlife, fish and small game, it is hard enough being a bird of prey searching incessantly for food!" Could we humans blame him much for thinking this way?

He must be thinking farther, "I guess I'll just fly up above this turmoil, much higher than any other bird can climb! That way I will be able to look beyond what is happening to this great land that used to be the symbol of freedom to the entire world! Thank God I have better vision than any other bird!"

It is written that the eagle can restore his youth! In order to do this the eagle flies to a mountain top and sits on its nest. There the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks it out. The eagle then has to wait for a new beak to grow back. The eagle's beak is made of a compound called keratin, much like human fingernails. As the new beak grows back, the eagle takes on a much younger appearance. This process is also used to replace the eagle's talons. After the beak and talons are renewed, the eagle is now able to pluck out old and damaged feathers that have hampered his flying. It is said that this process takes as much as 150 days.

Is it time for some of the naysayers and spreaders of hate to begin to beat their beaks against a rock? Maybe it would knock some sense into their hardened heads and hearts!
Hate mongers like nothing better than to clamp their talons into a story that has no substance and preach it as gospel!

When Franklin suggested the turkey as the national symbol, was he being prophetic? Did he foresee the great country of the United States of America degenerating to its lowest ebb in history? We, who have been the savior of many small countries with the lives of our soldiers, with financial backing, and compassion for the underdog?

Instead, it appears that we, like the turkey at Thanksgiving, have become the prey of all the other hateful birds of the world! Could this be why the eagle is so sad?