"The eagle is the wisest of all birds. Its nest is made in the safest possible place, upon a high and inaccessible cliff. It provides its young with an abundance of fresh meat. They have the fresh- est of air. They are brought up under the spell of the grandest scenes, and inspired with lofty feelings and bravery. They see that all other be- ings live beneath them, and that they are the chil- dren of the King of Birds. A young eagle shows the spirit of a warrior while still in the nest.
"Being exposed to the inclemency of the weather the young eaglets are hardy. They are accustomed to hear the mutterings of the Thunder Bird and the sighings of the Great Mystery. Why, the lit- tle eagles cannot help being as noble as they are, because their parents selected for them so lofty and inspiring a home! How happy they must be when they find themselves above the clouds, and behold the zigzag flashes of lightning all about them! It must be nice to taste a piece of fresh meat up in their cool home, in the burning sum- mer-time! Then when they drop down the bones of the game they feed upon, wolves and vultures gather beneath them, feeding upon their refuse. That alone would show them their chieftainship over all the other birds. Isn't that so, grand- mother?" Thus triumphantly he concluded his argument.
I was staggered at first by the noble speech of Chatannna, but I soon recovered from its effects. The little Oesedah came to my aid by saying: "Wait until Ohiyesa tells of the loveliness of the beautiful Oriole's home!" This timely remark gave me courage and I began:
"My grandmother, who was it said that a mother who has a gentle and sweet voice will have children of a good disposition? I think the oriole is that kind of a parent. It provides both sun- shine and shadow for its young. Its nest is sus- pended from the prettiest bough of the most grace- ful tree, where it is rocked by the gentle winds; and the one we found yesterday was beautifully lined with soft things, both deep and warm, so that the little featherless birdies cannot suffer from the cold and wet."
Here Chatanna interrupted me to exclaim: "That is just like the white people--who cares for them? The eagle teaches its young to be ac- customed to hardships, like young warriors!"
Ohiyesa was provoked; he reproached his brother and appealed to the judge, saying that he had not finished yet.
"But you would not have lived, Chatanna, if you had been exposed like that when you were a baby! The oriole shows wisdom in providing for its children a good, comfortable home! A home upon a high rock would not be pleasant-- it would be cold! We climbed a mountain once, and it was cold there; and who would care to stay in such a place when it storms? What wisdom is there in having a pile of rough sticks upon a bare rock, surrounded with ill-smelling bones of animals, for a home? Also, my uncle says that the eaglets seem always to be on the point of starvation. You have heard that whoever lives on game killed by some one else is compared to an eagle. Isn't that so, grandmother?
"The oriole suspends its nest from the lower side of a horizontal bough so that no enemy can approach it. It enjoys peace and beauty and safety."