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Eagle Frozen To The Ground

( Originally Published 1902 )

A FRIEND, on one occasion, related to me the following incident :

" I once had the very great privilege of listening to a conversation between two American authors—the late E. P. Roe and Julian Hawthorne. They spoke, among other things, of the unjust and harsh criticism to which portions of their work had been subjected. Mr. Roe referred especially to one incident mentioned in his writings, where he describes an eagle, which had been exposed to a storm when the rain froze as it fell, until the bird was so incased in ice, as in a coat-of-mail, that it was not able to fly, and was captured in consequence by some passing wayfarers.

The incident had been mercilessly criticised as impossible, absurd, preposterous and the like. ` And yet,' said Mr. Roe, ` I have actually seen a bird in just that plight, and it could have easily been captured by any one who did not fear its beak and talons.' Mr. Hawthorne supplemented this statement by saying that he also had seen a fishing eagle, somewhere on the Long Island coast, in the same helpless condition from the same cause.

"As I drove homeward through the moonlight, I thought how foolish one is to refuse to believe a statement merely because his own experience contradicts it."

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