A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in the nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the rest of the chicks and grew up with them. All his life the eagle did what the rest of the chickens did, thinking he was a chicken. He scratched the earth for worms & insects, he clucked and cackled and he would thrash his wings and fly only a few feet into the air.
Years passed and the eagle grew old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky, it glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of it’s strong golden wings. The old eagle looked up in awe and asked “Who’s that?” …
“That’s the eagle – the king of the birds” said his neighbour, “he belongs to the sky, we belong to the earth – we’re chickens”.
And so the eagle lived and died as a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was.
Source: Awareness, by Anthony De Mello