There once was a chicken farmer who was a keen rock climber.
One day, climbing a particularly challenging rock face, he came upon a wide ledge.
On the ledge was a big nest and in the nest there were three large eggs.
He knew it was very un-ecological, and definitely illegal, however temptation got the better of him and he discreetly put one of the eagle eggs in his rucksack.
Then he climbed down and went back to his ranch, and put the egg in the hen house.
That night the mother hen sat on the huge egg, the proudest chicken you’ve ever seen (and the cock seemed pretty pleased with himself as well!).
In the fullness of time the egg hatched and the baby eagling emerged. It looked around and saw the mother hen.
“Mama!” it squawked.
As time passed the eagle grew up with its brother and sister chicks. It learnt to do all the things that chickens do.
It clucked and cackled, it scratched in the dirt for worms, flapping its wings furiously, and flying a few feet into the air before crashing to earth in a pile of dust and feathers.
And believing above all things that it was totally a chicken.
Year after year passed, until one bright sunny day the eagle-who-thought-it-was-a-chicken, looked up into the sky.
High overhead, soaring majestically on the thermal currents, flying effortlessly with scarcely a beat of its powerful golden wings, was an eagle.
“What’s that?” said the eagle-who-thought-it-was-a-chicken in awe to a farmyard neighbour.
“Its magnificent. So much power and grace. Poetry in motion.”
“That’s an eagle,” said the chicken. “That’s the King of the Birds. It’s a bird of the air. However we, we’re only chickens, we’re birds of the earth.”
And so it was, the eagle lived and died a chicken, because that’s all it thought it was.
Now there are very few soaring eagles in this world.
Most people listen and look to other chickens and follow their lead.
You can never attain the heights of success by having unsuccessful role-models. And following the general flock can only end up in mediocrity.