Monday, July 10, 2006
Legend of the Eagle Feather - Part II
The quiet man in the quiet land who lived in a small cave by a winding river of asphalt with his very small companion Grey Bear was very excited as he stood at the base of this great mountain, the highest in the area. The quiet man had dreamed of this time for many years, even before he met Grey Bear, perhaps even before there was a Grey Bear. The quiet man had never met a traveler of the winding river of asphalt who had climbed this great mountain, and he did not know what to expect, but the quiet man and Grey Bear knew that what lay above them was certainly much different than their small cave, and for that they were glad.
The quiet man and Grey Bear climbed upwards all that day, spending the night wrapped in blankets on the side of the mountain. They met interesting people and saw many interesting things along their route but those are tales for another time for this story is about a feather, a very particular feather, that of a bald eagle. The quiet man and Grey Bear had watched bald eagles soaring above the great mountain as they climbed, marveling at their ease and grace as they rode the updrafts higher and higher until they were just dark specks against the clouds. It was halfway through the second day, on the way to a patch of snow to fill their water bottles, when the quiet man and Grey Bear spotted a feather on the ground. Not just any feather, but an eagle feather, almost a foot and a half long.
The quiet man could not believe his eyes and he sat down on the alpine tundra next to the feather, picking it up breathlessly with both hands and holding it up to the light. The quiet man and his very small companion Grey Bear marveled at the size, symmetry and coloration of the eagle feather and in the quiet man's heart began to grow a tiny spot of darkness, for the quiet man knew he could not leave this feather on the mountain for others to find and take from him. For you see, the laws of the quiet land were very clear about the penalties for possessing such a wondrous feather, and the comforts of the little cave by the winding river of asphalt were positively palatial compared to the steel cage where the quiet man and Grey Bear would have to live if their feather were ever found out. The quiet man did not care what the penalty was, for even as he turned the feather in the sunlight, the spot of darkness continued to grow and his eyes narrowed and darted around the alpine meadow furtively, making sure no one had witnessed his wonderful discovery. He realized he could not carry the feather the rest of the way up the mountain, for others might see it if he carried it outside his pack, and to carry it inside his pack would surely destroy it, so he began to search for a place to hide his treasure . . . .