I remember my first eagle ceremony when I turned nine. The first eagle you get is always declawed, which I always thought was pretty inhumane, but it was a good way to ease into caring for the birds. My eagle (named Baldy, because I wasn’t a terribly clever child) was already quite old when I received him (he was a rescue eagle, luckily) but I did have him until I was 16. I don’t know if I was more excited about getting my drivers license that year, or my new eagle! You should have seen the party we had when I got him, too! Grilled hot dogs and fire works and lemonade…. obviously I named my beautiful new eagle Freedom. He’s too big to keep inside anymore, unfortunately, but we’ve got a pretty comfortable roost for him on our apartment’s balcony.
Ah, yes, the eagle ceremony! My Justice and I remember his quite well. (They had just come out with telepathic link transplants when I got him, which is how I know he remembers it.) Our celebration was quite modest, compared to Freedom’s—apple pie under a cloudless summer sky as we signed our Declaration of Interdependence. I still have the inked and talon-pierced document hanging on my wall.
what is this
[[THIS IS AMERICA.]]
The only brief moment in my life when I questioned capitalism was after my eagle passed away. Forgive me, I know how awful it is even to say something so terrible, but it was easily the darkest time I had ever experienced. He was a good eagle: always watchfully protecting our house from terrorists, eating all of his cheeseburger scraps, keeping all of our guns clean and in working order. Alas, he had a preexisting condition, and our family couldn’t afford the surgeries. I would cry myself to sleep wondering why our fine nation would perpetuate the unequal access to quality avian healthcare. However, rather than succumb to ideological ruin, I used the need for economic competition to give me the resolve to work hard in school, report illegal immigrants, and strive to earn the high-paying salary that would grant me a lifestyle with which I could give a pet eagle the care it needs. Even in his passing, George Franklin Reagan was teaching me valuable lessons about what it means to be an American.