How does this story end?

Byline: | Category: Foreign Policy | Posted at: Monday, 11 August 2008

There was once an eagle who loved flying high above the forest. From up in the skies the eagle surveyed all that was below. The other animals looked up to the eagle. They liked it when he flew overhead and felt safe when he was in the air above them. They would wave to the eagle, and be thrilled when, with a tilt of his wings to one side, and then back to the other, the eagle would wave to the animals below. Oh, how they wanted to be like him, the eagle thought. And oh, how that made him feel good.

But there was one animal in the forest who did not like the eagle. The bear. He was the biggest animal in all the land and he hated that the eagle was loved. “Why do they not look up to me?” he grumbled. “Do they not know how I am the strongest animal in all the forest?”

One day the bear had cornered a field mouse and was about to pounce on the tiny animal at his feet. It just so happened that the eagle was flying above both animals at that very moment, and the eagle thought to himself that it would be great fun to make the bear leave the field mouse alone. And so the eagle swooped down from above forcing the bear to flee.

The eagle was very pleased with himself, for he enjoyed chasing off such a large bear without even a fight. The eagle was also pleased that all the animals of the forest had been looking on and saw that the eagle defeated the bear. And oh, how that made him feel good.

The field mouse cried out to the eagle, “Thank you.” He added, “How can I repay you for saving me?”

The eagle laughed, “How can you repay me? You are just a field mouse.”
The mouse answered “Just you wait. Yes, I am just a mouse, but I will think of something to repay you for your kindness.”

The next day, just as he was preparing to soar into the heavens the eagle spied the field mouse scrambling up toward him with what looked like a stick in his mouth. “What do you have in your mouth?” the eagle asked.

The mouse cheerfully answered, “It is a stick so that I can help you to build your home.”

The eagle laughed heartily, “An eagle’s nest is very large and weighs many hundreds of pounds. You are just a mouse. How can you bring enough sticks to help me build my home?”

The field mouse replied, “Just you wait. Yes, I am just a mouse, but I will think of something to repay you for your kindness.

The next day, just as he was preparing to soar into the heavens the eagle again spied the field mouse scrambling up toward him with what looked like another stick in his mouth. Just when the eagle was about to ask why the mouse had another stick in his mouth, he saw the other animals. The squirrel and the rabbit, the deer and the moose, the frog and the salamander, each of the animals had a stick in their mouths.

The field mouse spoke up, “Yes, I am just a field mouse, but I am not alone. You saved all of the animals of the forest when you scared away the bear, and we have thought of something to repay you for your kindness. The eagle was speechless.

For many years after that the eagle was free to spend even more time flying over the forest because he needn’t trouble himself to take care of his home. The small animals of the forest did that for him out of thanks for his kindness.  And so from up in the skies the eagle surveyed all that was below. The other animals liked it when he flew overhead and felt safe when he was in the air above them. They would wave to the eagle, and be thrilled when, with a tilt of his wings to one side, and then back to the other, the eagle would wave to the animals below. Oh, how they wanted to be like him, the eagle thought. And oh, how that made him feel good.

Until one day the bear had cornered the field mouse and was about to pounce on the tiny animal at his feet. It just so happened that the eagle was flying above both animals at that very moment, and the field mouse thought to himself, “Surely, I will be saved . . .

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2 Responses to “How does this story end?”

  1. Julia Says:

    So how does it end?

  2. Anne McCrady Says:

    …when my friend, the eagle, sees what is happening.”

    So the little mouse puffed up his chest and pointed to the bird flying overhead.

    “I am a friend of the eagle’s,” the mouse said proudly. “You can’t eat me!”

    The eagle laughed to himself at the site of the little mouse standing up to the big bear. Seeing the large paws and sharp claws of the bear and having a fine nest and other animals besides the mouse to keep it repaired, the eagle dipped one wing, rose on a thermal and left the bear to eat the little mouse, who was saved only because the bear was too slow to catch him.

    When the other animals heard about the mouse and how the eagle had not helped him, one by one they began to trudge up the mountain and take the eagle’s nest apart stick by stick. They brought the sticks back and began to help each other use them to build strong homes for their families.

    And as for the eagle? Forever after that, he had to take time out from flying proudly overhead to find his own sticks and make his own nests. And though the animals admired his majestic flight, they knew he was not someone to count on in times of trouble.

    And as the years went by, they taught their children the story of the generosity and courage of the little mouse, who taught them that things would always be fine if they would just “stick” together.