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“Eat, Nikky,” The mother said, pointing to a plate of bambino.

​“No.” Nikky was adamant. “I am NOT going to eat it.” He expected the mother to spoon-feed him. He was busy pushing a toy car. It wobbled on the carpet.

The mother insisted that he was old enough to eat on his own, but Nikky paid no attention.

The father watched the interlocution silently. Then he turned to Nikky and said, “An eagle lived with its four chicks on a mountain ledge.” He noticed that Nikky was all ears.

The ledge was so high from the ground that no land animal could approach it. In fact, it was not even visible from the ground. Everyday the mother eagle brought large chunks of meat to the roost. She broke the chunks into smaller pieces and fed the chicks. Whenever the eagle flew away on the hunt, the chicks eagerly waited for the mother to return with food.

This went on for a few days and the chicks began to grow fat and big. One day the mother returned without food. Two of the chicks flew off in search of food. But the other two remained on the ledge hoping the mother would hunt for them.

The mother did not bring food for them, but expected the chicks to hunt for themselves, as they were old enough to do. The mother ignored the chicks’ cries and refused to feed them anymore.

The mother eagle saw that the chicks were stubborn and continued to expect to be fed.

“You know what the mother eagle did to the chicks that remained on the ledge?” asked the father looking at Nikky.

“The mother killed them, of course,” said Nikky matter-of-factly. The father looked shocked and said, “Why would the mother kill the chicks after feeding them for so many days and raising them up lovingly?”

Nikky waited for the father to continue. He probably wondered what the mother eagle would do now.

The next day the mother eagle spread its large wings around the chicks and pushed them towards the edge of the ledge. The chicks thought she was playing a game, but soon realized that she was pushing them over the ledge. Ignoring their cries, the mother eagle completely encircled them in its great wings and swept them over the ledge. The chicks had no chance of escape. When they came to the very edge they opened their wings and flew off into the sky.

Nikky mumbled as he went near the plate of bambino. “I am going to eat that stuff with one hand AND push my car with the other.”

As the child began to eat, the mother felt relieved and smiled with surprise and joy.

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