The Tale of the Two Falcons

In a far off land long ago, there lived a king who received a gift of two magnificent peregrine falcons. They were the most beautiful birds he had ever seen, and believed to be the fastest birds in the world. Their backs were blue-grey, and under their powerful wings, the feathers of their bodies were barred in black and white. Brilliant, glistening eyes shone out from the smooth, obsidian-colored feathers on their heads.

The King at once gave the precious birds to his head falconer to be trained.

Time passed, and one day the head falconer reported to the king that though one of the falcons was soaring majestically through in the sky, the other bird had not left its branch since the day it had arrived.

Puzzled, the king summoned healers and wise men from all over the land to tend to the falcon, but no one could make the bird fly. He called on the members of his court for advice, but try what they could, the bird would not still not leave its perch.

Observing his falcons through the palace window the next day, the King thought to himself, ”Perhaps someone who is more familiar with the countryside would better understand the nature of this problem.”

Immediately he sent his ambassadors out to go and bring back a farmer.

The errand was completed before the day was out, and when the King arose the next morning, he was thrilled to see the falcon soaring swiftly and effortlessly high above the palace gardens. He called for the man who had performed this miracle. The farmer came and bowed before the king.

The king asked him how, when no one else had been successful, the farmer had been able – so quickly–  to teach the falcon how to fly?

With his head still bowed, the farmer replied to the king, “It was easy, your majesty. I simply cut the branch the bird was afraid to let go of.”

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