Friday, March 19, 2010

We Were Discussing Eagles...

Haliaeetus leucocephalus (bald eagle) landing ...

The first time I came close enough to a bald eagle to consider introducing myself, was one afternoon in Southern Colorado. My dog and I were taking our walk around the lake near my late father's home when I noticed a large shadow on the ground ahead of us. At first I thought it might be a cloud and when I looked, there was an eagle sitting in a tree above me.

"Beg, what's a neagle?"

"It's a bird, like the ones you enjoy watching out the study window in the mornings, though much larger. And it's an eagle, not a neagle."

"Okay."

I was surprised to see one so near civilization, and assumed it was contemplating a trout dinner from the lake. We stood there for a moment, and --

"Beg? What does a neagle eat?"

"Some of the same things you used to eat when you were living on your own: fish, small rodents, sometimes a turkey. You get regular cat food now. Once again, it's an eagle -- when the letter 'a' is followed by a word beginning with a vowel, we add 'n,' making the word 'an.' Why are you asking?

"Because I think there's one out in the hayfield and I'd like to go out and 'make his acquaintance,' if you get my drift."

"I'm sure you would, but he's way too big for you. As a matter of fact, you'd look like dinner to him. And besides that, I don't want you to pick up any fleas."

"I think I could take him, anyway."

"I have no doubt. Now can I get back to my writing?"

"Oh, sure, go ahead. I won't bother you anymore."

So, where was I? Right -- we stood there a moment, me wondering whether our movement might frighten it away, when --

"Beg? What's a flea?"

"It's a little bug that makes you itch! Now, please, can we finish this conversation later? My patience is wearing thin."

"All right, but don't you wear clothes?"

Sigh. My mother told me there would be days like this.


(Public Domain image via Wikipedia)
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