A Tale about Identity: The Bird that Didn't Know its Identity

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A Tale about Identity: The Bird that Didn't Know its Identity

Last update: 29 June, 2020

This tale about identity is about a humble but passionate goatherd who lived in the middle of nowhere. One year, it didn’t rain that much and he worried that the grass wasn’t growing, so the goats had nothing to eat.

The goatherd knew that there was a mountain nearby, so he decided to climb to the top with his goats, thinking that there would be grass there due to the humidity.

Very early in the morning, he started his trip to the top of the mountain. When he finally got there, he saw that there was enough grass for all the goats. As he was heading back home, something caught his attention.

There was a small eagle nest lying on a cliff. He hated eagles because, in the past, one had attacked his hens. However, the man was curious, so he decided to take a closer look.

In the nest, there were two baby eagles. However, one of them was dead. It seemed like the nest had fallen from a high place and the poor little bird didn’t survive the impact. The other baby eagle was hurt and barely breathing. According to this tale about identity, the goatherd felt sorry for it and decided to take the bird home with him.

“In the egoic state, your sense of self, your identity, is derived from your thinking mind.” 

-Eckhart Tolle-

A nest on a tree.

The Impact of Care

The goatherd patiently cured the bird’s wounds. He fed it and took care of it. He thought that the bird was too small to let it go, so he kept it for some time. However, as it grew, the man started to worry. He didn’t want the animal to attack his goats or hens.

When the bird became an adult eagle, the shepherd decided it was time to let it go. Thus, one morning, he took the animal to an open field so that it could fly far away.

To his surprise, the animal started to follow him back home. Again, the man felt sorry and took it back with him.

He tried for several days to make the bird leave, but it always found its way back to the goatherd’s home. The eagle couldn’t fly, so it kept jumping back and forth.

The bird seemed very attached to him, so the good man gave up on trying to make it leave. He simply took it to the hen barnyard with the other hens and chickens. The hens were very scared when they saw the eagle, but soon enough they realized it wasn’t a threat, so they treated it as one of their own.

A Strange Visitor

Time went by and the eagle behaved like any other hen. It even learned to cackle like them, and the shepherd also treated it as such.

But then an eagle expert came to the farm. The expert was casually passing by and he was very surprised by what he saw: an eagle cackling and living with hens!

The expert then looked for the goatherd and asked him to explain the odd phenomenon. The humble man told him the whole story and explained that, to him, the eagle was just like any other hen.

But the expert didn’t agree. Each animal has its essence, he said, so it’s impossible for the eagle to have simply forgotten what it was. He asked for the goatherd’s permission to prove his theory, and the goatherd accepted.

An eagle standing on a rock.

A Tale about Identity

The expert offered the eagle some meat, but the bird rejected it and preferred to eat worms and corn. The eagle was grossed out by meat. Thus, the expert went up a ladder with the animal and threw it into the air.

He expected it to fly but, to his surprise, the eagle fell down and got hurt. After several days of thinking about what to do, he looked at the cliff and decided it was necessary to go where it had all begun.

The next day, the expert took the eagle to the cliff where the shepherd had found it. When he arrived, the animal looked a bit uncomfortable. However, the expert waited, thinking that at any moment the animal would find its true essence again.

He spent the entire night waiting. Then, a new day came. The eagle felt uneasy because it didn’t want the sun rays to disturb it. Realizing this, the scientist took the bird by its neck and forced it to see the sun.

That’s when the eagle set itself free from the expert’s hands, clearly annoyed by what he was doing. Then, it opened its wings and started to fly to get away from the man.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Revilla, J. C. (2003). Los anclajes de la identidad personal. Athenea digital: revista de pensamiento e investigación social, (4), 54-67.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.