The Eagle’s Gift


“Laughing Feathers”

©1976 M. Krapek

Pike’s Peak, Colorado,

As seen from the Garden of the Gods

The Hopi keep eagles as pets.  No cats, so best mousetrap was eagle in nest on roof.  Little boy’s favorite job to pluck egg from two egg nest to hatch and raise eaglet.  Eaglet friend when give boy feather from wing!  -E. Northrop, Hopi

I remember a dream I had when I first got started in the clay business: 

Ben Franklin was sitting in his rocking chair, with an vacant rocker next to him,

on a small grassy hill, surrounded by a picket fence and swampy thicket. 

I was standing knee deep in the mud when I called,  “Hey, can I come sit with you?”

He answered; “You can join me when you figure out for yourself the meaning of the Great Seal

on the back of the Dollar bill, specifically the Crest on the Eagle’s Breast.”

I was simply dumbfounded and couldn’t figure out what he meant.

Crestfallen, I turned to leave when wise old Ben added,  ”On your way to becoming an Eagle:

Beware of snakes, the world is crawling with ‘em!  You don’t wanna become one!”

YIKES!  In all irony, I just wanted to get out of the mud.  Wake up, please!

Years went by and my business and artisanship grew.  I often remembered that dream and its lesson eventually became clear.  The Great Seal is an ancient symbol dating back to the Hiramic Freemasons.  It had been updated by the Founding Fathers during Revolutionary times.  The Eagle itself forms a Solomon Seal of two superimposed equilateral triangles, showing the union of matter and spirit.  Colored like the flag, the red, white, and blue Crest on the Eagle’s Breast represents

the “blood, sweat, and tears”  that it takes to be free. 

Your own blood, sweat, and tears!  That’s the eagle vs. snake part nobody understands.

Then once, while relating this story to a customer to whom we had just delivered a sculpture:

  “Well, I’m glad you figured it out,” He quipped,  “Because I’m a direct descendant of Ben Franklin!”

“No kidding?”  I laughed, as we rocked in his back porch rocking chairs, high on a grassy knob, looking across the foothills at the snow capped mountains.  Flying!

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