Nikky,” The mother said, pointing to a plate of bambino. “No.” Nikky
was adamant. “I am NOT going to eat it.” He expected the mother
to spoon-feed him. He was busy pushing a toy car. It wobbled on
The mother insisted
that he was old enough to eat on his own, but Nikky paid no attention.
The father watched the mother-son interaction silently. Then he
turned to Nikky and said, “An eagle lived with its four chicks on
a mountain ledge.” He noticed that Nikky was all ears.
The ledge was so high from the ground that no land animal could
approach it. In fact, it was not even visible from the ground. Everyday
the mother eagle brought large chunks of meat to the roost. She
broke the chunks into smaller pieces and fed the chicks. Whenever
the eagle flew away on the hunt, the chicks eagerly waited for the
mother to return with food.
This went on
for a few days and the chicks began to grow fat and big. One
day the mother returned without food. Two of the chicks flew
off in search of food. But the other two remained on the ledge
hoping the mother would hunt for them.
The mother did not bring food for them, but expected the chicks
to hunt for themselves, as they were old enough to do. The
mother ignored the chicks’ cries and refused to feed them
anymore. The mother eagle saw that the chicks were stubborn
and continued to expect to be fed. “You know what the mother
eagle did to the chicks that remained on the ledge?” asked
the father looking at Nikky.
“The mother killed
them, of course,” said Nikky matter-of-factly. The father looked
shocked and said, “Why would the mother kill the chicks after feeding
them for so many days and raising them up lovingly?”
Nikky waited for the
father to continue. He probably wondered what the mother eagle would
The next day the mother eagle spread its large wings around the
chicks and pushed them towards the edge of the ledge. The chicks
thought she was playing a game, but soon realized that she was pushing
them over the ledge.
Ignoring their cries,
the mother eagle completely encircled them in its great wings and
swept them over the ledge. The chicks had no chance of escape.
When they came to
the very edge they opened their wings and flew off into the sky.
Nikky mumbled as he went near the plate of bambino. “I am going
to eat that stuff with one hand AND push my car with the other.”
As the child began to eat, the mother felt relieved and smiled with
surprise and joy.
Contributing Story Teller:
Anand Betanabhotla, Engineer, software consultant, online