John the Great Eagle Learns Important Lessons about Being a Friend
by Deacon Tom Frankenfield
After meeting Mick the Pelican, John lost his enthusiasm. John was alone. He was lived alone; he flew alone and when he entered the forest, others would look at him and immediately start running away. John was lonely.
He often asked himself lots of questions. "What is wrong with me? Do I look funny? Why do people run when I come around?” John was really worried. He did not sleep like he had in the past. His food did not taste as good as it had in the past. Even his behavior had changed.
When he was worried, he would fly for hours and just stare straight ahead. At other times, he would scare all of the animals. During these times, John would laugh aloud seeing the animals would run whenever the eagle came close. Faster and faster he flew and laughed as all the animals of the forest scattering everywhere. On the outside, John seemed confident and in charge but inside John was hurting. He really wanted to be liked and found that his “bullying” behaviors only made him feel lonelier.
Early one evening after scaring a whole family of rabbits, John decided to travel back to the Great Water. This time it was not to enjoy the dramatic and amazing sunset but to find Mick, the Pelican.
John the Great Eagle flew high and low looking for Mick. Finally, he heard Mick’s scratchy voice singing happily in the distance. John followed the sound of that familiar voice.
Mick had just caught a large white fish and was flying away to a secluded area just behind the large rocks. Like most animals, Mick had a startled look in his eye when he saw John approaching. As he tried to find a place to hide, Mick was frozen in fear.
When he was just a few yards away, John shouted. “Excuse me, whoever you are; could I please talk with you?”
Mick gazed at John with a very suspicious look. Mick did not speak but started to hide his fish in fear that this eagle was about to steal it.
“Excuse me!” John the Great Eagle spoke again in even a louder voice.
Mick said, “What do you want with me? Can’t you find any food of your own?”
John the Great Eagle replied, “No, I already ate supper and I am no longer hungry.”
“Then what do you want,” asked Mick.
Feeling embarrassed, John slowly said, “Well, I wanted to know if you would teach me how I can have a friend. The last time we met you seemed to have lots of ideas about my problems. Can you help me?
Mick was shocked. Was this eagle playing a trick in order to get his fish or was he serious? Mick was trained by his parents to be very careful of strangers, especially those who acted like a bully.
Finally, Mick thought that he would try to help. Taking a deep breath for courage, Mick spoke out, “Ok but first I need to know your name because friends call each other by their names and they hold their friend’s name close in a place of honor—their hearts. You do have a heart, don’t you?”
John laughed and said, “Yes, I have a heart and my name is John. What is your name?”
“My name is Mick!” the pelican said as he fluffed his feathers proudly.
Mick then said, “John, the first thing you need to do in being someone’s friend is to start thinking about your friend. You need to make that person happy by putting the other person’s needs ahead of yours.”
“Ok, I think I understand,” said John and suddenly he flew high in the air; dove deep into the water and caught the biggest white fish Mick had ever seen.
Then in as gentle of a manner as an eagle could, John placed the huge white fish before Mick and said, “This is for you, in case the fish you have is not sufficient for your meal.”
Mick had a big smile and was grinning. Mick thought, “John is a quick learner. John had put Mick’s needs before his own needs. Then Mick said, “A true friend is someone who not only makes you happy and is also there when you are sad.”
John the Great Eagle said, “Then you are a friend for me, because I was sad before, I found you tonight. Now that I saw your smile when I gave you the fish, I am no longer sad.”
With that, Mick said “Thank you my new friend. You are a quick learner. If you learn to give more to others without thinking of yourself, you can make this world a better place and, you can make lots of friends.”
John replied, “What else can I do for you, Mick?”
Mick laughed, “Well, you have done enough for me for one night. Since I still am very hungry, you can let me eat my fish. Then you can visit me tomorrow and together, we can do nice things for others.”
“Super”, said John, “I will come tomorrow to this place of the rocks when the sun is the highest.”
With that John the Great Eagle burst into the air and flew away at a greater speed than he had flown in many days.
That night John slept peacefully. John the Great Eagle had learned valuable lessons about being a friend -- A true friend is someone who not only makes you happy but who is also there when you are sad.
My friends remember to take the time to care for all of those who are important in your life. The best example for all is Jesus! Jesus is there to make you happy and is there to take away your sadness. Jesus will always be a friend for you
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