The Eagle Parable- Question #1

October 29, 2012

Hey my Human Geo classes-

I gave you a parable written by James Aggrey during the last class.

In the comments to this post please answer the following question:

What do you think Aggrey was trying tell Africans living under colonial rule?

A copy of the parable is provided below if you need it…

“A certain man went through a forest seeking any bird of interest he may find. He caught a young eagle, brought it home and put it among his fowls and ducks and turkeys, and gave it chickens’ food to eat even though it was an eagle, the king of birds.”
“Five years later a naturalist came to see him and, after passing through his garden, said: ‘That bird is an eagle, not a chicken.'”
“‘Yes,’ said its owner, ‘but I have trained it to be a chicken. It is no longer an eagle, it is a chicken, even though it measures fifteen feet from tip to tip of its wings.'”
“‘No,’ said the naturalist, ‘it is an eagle still: it has the heart of an eagle, and I will make it soar high up to the heavens.'”
“‘No,’ said the owner, ‘it is a chicken, and it will never fly.'”
“They agreed to test it. The naturalist picked up the eagle, held it up, and said with great intensity, ‘Eagle, thou art an eagle; thou dost belong to the sky and not to this earth; stretch forth thy wings and fly.'”
“The eagle turned this way and that, and then, looking down, saw the chickens eating their food, and down he jumped.”
“The owner said: ‘I told you it was a chicken.'”
“‘No,’ said the naturalist, ‘it is an eagle. Give it another chance tomorrow.'”
“So the next day he took it to the top and the house and said: ‘Eagle, thou art an eagle; stretch forth thy wings and fly.’ But again the eagle, seeing the chickens feeding, jumped down and fed with them.”
“Then the owner said: ‘I told you it was a chicken.'”
“‘No,’ asserted the naturalist, ‘it is an eagle, and it still has the heart of an eagle; only give it one more chance, and I will make it fly tomorrow.'”
“The next morning he rose early and took the eagle outside the city, away from the houses, to the foot of a high mountain. The sun was just rising, gilding the top of the mountain with gold, and every crag was glistening in the joy of that beautiful morning.”
“He picked up the eagle and said to it: “Eagle, thou art an eagle; thou dost belong to the sky and not to this earth; stretch forth thy wings and fly!'”
“The eagle looked around and trembled as if new life were coming to it; but it did not fly. The naturalist then made it look straight at the sun. Suddenly it stretched out its wings and, with the screech of an eagle, it mounted higher and higher and never returned. It was an eagle, though it had been kept and tamed as a chicken!”
“Musing and Amusing.” : “The Parable of the Eagle” by James Aggrey. N.p., 25 Apr. 2009. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.
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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Will Harvey says:

    I believe that Aggrey was trying to tell the Africans that they didn’t need to do what their oppressors said, and that they needed to spread their wings and fly.

  2. Avatar Ani Inman says:

    “Even if people are treated badly, then inside, they are still the same people.”

  3. Avatar Andrew Siegel says:

    I think he wanted to send the massage that Africans living under colonial rule were just as good, just as capable of being great as anyone else, even though they were oppressed by the European colonists.

  4. Avatar Will Cole says:

    Aggrey was trying to tell the Africans that they are eagles, great people who deserve to be free, not chickens, like the parable referenced. Under the colonial rule, they were oppressed and couldn’t live the way they were meant to.

  5. Avatar Brad Fessenden says:

    I believe that Aggrey was trying to the oppressed that if given the chance to escape, fly away.

  6. Avatar Rola Chen says:

    What do you think he was trying to tell them?
    I think the main idea that author want to tell Africa people is do not think you are weak than any people because of any reason. Everyone is equal; we need to show the other how strong and difference we are by defending. Do not allow any person despise you again.

  7. Avatar Boxin Zhao says:

    Aggrey want to tell Africans never lose hope, one day they will like that eagle, flying again. Break away from European’s colonial.

  8. Avatar Jacob Bennet says:

    Aggrey is against what the Europeans are doing to the Africans and is trying to help the Africans in the parable. The eagle represents the Africans – they’re being “tamed” by the Europeans and need to “stretch out their wings and fly”, i.e. stop bending the to Europeans’ will.

  9. Avatar Anna Lee says:

    Aggery was sending a message to the natives telling them that even though they may not seem like the same people as before the europeans they are. It is just a difference in the government and the setting that has made them different and that inside all of them there is still a unique resilient culture.

  10. Avatar matt wolf says:

    I believe that the africans are the eagles and even thought they are under other people’s rule they are still africans. They are saying that you can still be your own colonial.

  11. Avatar Dattar Khalsa says:

    I think Aggrey was trying to say that the Africans Are the eagles and they are being kept down like chickens and they have to fly away like eagles and if you fall you just doit again.

  12. Avatar Robert Zhu says:

    I think this parable was trying to told Africans and Europeans that Africans would not became European’s colony. Although European was trying to master Africa. Africa would never be restraining by European.

  13. Avatar jiang wei says:

    i think this story describe about the africa and europe, africa can gain their own sky

  14. Avatar Yutaro says:

    I think he is trying to tell Africans that they are living under the rule, but they are an eagle(real human, African) , not trained as a chicken (slavery).

  15. Avatar Jules Paulay says:

    aggrey was trying to tell the africans that they were being held down and that if they were born eagles and that they can be free.

  16. Avatar Jim Lo says:

    I think that the story want to said that African is still African, this true will never change; but because the people beside you live like European, so they live like European.

  17. Avatar Ward Saunders says:

    I think that this is saying that you can take things out of there natural habitat but they will still be the same.

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