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The Eagle's Eyrie

The Eagle's Eyrie image
Parent Issue
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On a point tliat formerly jutteU farou froni Lake Erle's southeni shore, noc very grcut distance from the moutii o Sandusky Biy, there once stood a loft; olil oak tree, whoae tall and shapel, trunk and crown of waving limbs" an living green were a conspicuous land mark for miles iroilnd. lioili on land am water. In years gone by, so the old In habitar.U sald, and the story had beeu tolii thetn by their sires, the point wa part of a considerable projectlon, a min latan cape, as tt were, and the oak tre was one of a grove tliat liad sprung fron acorns dropped liere, possibly, in th Ilight i)f blrds voars and years ago. Bu the ceaseless action of wind and wate had wa.shed away the substance of th llttle cape and laid lw all the oaks bu til Ís solitary giaut, and now n:ught wa left but the long, narrow strip of eartl over which, io a storm, the waves dashei in f'urious sucestlon. The northers of winter and the fierce fíales of slimmer had beaten in valn upoi the solitary tree, thnugh it stond at the extreme end of the point and bore the brunt of every bowling wind tliat swept tbc coast, wliile its fellows further In land had one by one succumbed to a mightier foree and fallen p rost rut e witl with a cr.ish tliat eclioed in the aombe twilight of the scène. For full lifly fee not a llrab grew front its rugged tiries - naught but the gnarleü trunk and tlit shaggy bark - and theti it spread out il all the glory of a crown of tossiug green and waving branches tliat tlireatened tht sky wiili grotesque matton like as muny huge skeleton irms. lts roots, eXpmei by the saucy inroads of the wave?, wen loved by the cnressing waters of old Krie ken nature was still, but when omlnoui storm ulouds loomcd lip along the horizon and the breezes ohanged Int o wbiétling wind, conyêrtinjr the pi acid blue of tlu lake in to tambling waves of green, thci the dashiiig b'llows rusbed with tiercé impetuosity toward land and tliiindered ftgalMt the very trunk of the tree itself, while the llmbt above swayed and bent and laugbed detiance at each oocnmlojl bliit from across the foaming surfaee of the waters. Far up above the land in the topmost branches of the oak where none had beeu found willing to climb, un eagle had built its ne.-t. There it was, a niass of stick?, dead limbs and branches, nnd to it resorted every year, a air of eagles, wlio reared their young in the wild siirroundings and preyed upon the gullsand (isli liawks for their suslenance, ra iel y condescending to provide for tliemsclves by their own exertlons. The eagles were inagnitieent birds and the admiration of settlers for miles around, whoknew them and left tliem undlsturbed, for there was a tradillon about the royal pair, handed down from the pioneera and perhaps communientfd to them by the Indi wis, th a made every dweller in the vicinity respect them, and not only refuM to mo lest them Uiemselvcs, bud restrain others front acts of violence. The story ran, as told by and old hunter, to the efl'ect tliat when the eagle'l nest was dtsturbed by the profane hand of a hunter, or other inquisitivo hunin: being, the eagles would never return igain, and a season of calamity and mls"ortune would spread over the neighbor:iood, while ill luck would follow the rash mm that dared molest the birds of fieedom or their habitation. So it has come to pass that that the "eagle's eyrie," as the old tree was cal led, had come Ui be je sort of au object of reverenoe with he PUKTStitlouH residents of the neighmuIhkhI, and the little ehildren pluying nlong the bauksof the lake looked upon he "eagle's eyrie'' with a fecling of awe and ttlmosta sense of leur. But one day there cause from the East i family of strangers. The father was killed iu the arts of out-door amusenent, and had brought up his sous, of whom there were two, thoroughly in'ormed on everythiug pertaining to hiintng, trapping, fUhing and agrlcultural abor as well. They were a stout, sturdy, vell-knit pair, with two beautlful sister, uk] the descendants of the family bearng a good old Knickerbocker líame, still ive in Erie county to-day. They had lot been long at their nt-w home before hej' were made aeqaálrrted with the tale of the "eagie's eyrie," and from that time forth evinced a lively Interest In watchng the movements of the old birds, who iad come back to their former quarterl a uw days prevlou? to the advent of the family nito the village. Time passed on mid it soon became evident that there had heen tin? annual uklition to the family in the tree top. Plieii the younger of the brothers, who iad often been noticed wandering in the vicinity of the point and casting frequent glauces from the gro.ind to the first imbs that grew from the trunk of the ;ree as though to measure the distanee with his eye, announced his intentiou of clinibiiiï the tree and securing one of the eaglets for a pet for his sister. He communicatcd his intention to his eldér rother, and to no one else for fear the Jan would be heard of in the neighborïood and the resldents raise objections, and, if necessary, use force in restraiiiing him from Inying facriligious hands upon he revered nest. So the plans were lahl, and one day, while the farmers were all busy in their fields, and after the mother eagle had eeD seen to leave the nest for food for ïer young, the boys hastened to the point vith a ladder of sume heiyht, and 8 con nvance of rope, with whtoh, by the aid of climbers, ttie younger brother Inendedtofcale the tree. They reached he place in comparative secrecy, only wo or three ehildren who were wading n the deep saml of the lake beach notlcng their liunicd journey. The ladder was placed ngalnst the old oak, the younger brother armed with a club, jrasped the rope and slowly but surely uanaged to make hls way up the rugged runk. The very air seeined to be imbuetl with a seiisc of coming danger, as he slowly ascended, cllnging to each gnarled projection and indentation In the bark, and the branches, which but a moment )efore had been swaying in the breeze, were as motionless and silent as though bound by unylelding chaiiis. Iligher and ïifiher the boy made his way, until lost atlength in the dark green shade wherc he limbs diverged from the mother trunk. The silence renialned still profouud until a cry of exultalion from the youth made tnown to the anxious wat'elier below bat he had meceeded in bis hazardous ,rip. A few mouientó elapsed and he was seen returnlng on the dowuward rlp. Uarefully he picked his way and braced hiniself with the rope until he reached the ladder aod in atwiiikling slid o the ground, not with oue blrd iu his possesslon, but with two. There were tlirec feeble eaglets In Mie nest, and li had coiicluded to bring each sister n bin The young men watched and waited fo the mothor eagle to return, and in abou half an hour were able to see a diuiini tive speek high in the heavens whic proved to be the motherbird, whocirclei round and round in hugc circumference until ut length she reached the nest. I ¦ twïnkling a hourse cry of disappolnt ment and rage was heard, and the power ful bird flew rapidly lip and toward th west. The young men returned hom with their tropliies and before man hours had elapsed the story had bee conimuuicated throocboot all the sur rounding farms. There were man threats and expressions of violence mad made against the rash youth, but bette counsel prevailed and he was left un harined. In a short time after the mothe bird flew away from the nest she returnec with her consort, and after sweeping in wide circles about the viclnity of th pomt, looking for their young 'the pal finally flew away in the face of a coming: storm that was darkening the waters o the lake, illuinimited at intervals by vivit streaks of Rghtning that "zigzugged" il fear-inspiring streaks across the bank o clouds, and leavin the third of thei p rojren y to its fate. That nlght the wind swept in feaifu gusts over the bosom of old Erie, ani the WHves daslied up on the beach beyom tlie highest water mark in the rembrance of the oldest i-ettler. Dwellings were unroofed, barns and slieds blown over, and the siipersüüoue people shuddered in terror, thinking the storm the promised visitation that would bring disaster and rain if the "eiigle's eyrie" was molested by human hands. But the storm sdoii paated awHj, though the giant wavcs kept up their monotonous dash on the beach all through the night. In the mornlng the sim rose in all its beauty in a clear blue sky, the eaily sunbeama kissed the tops of the waving trees in the lörests, and glowed briirhtly on the (rolden ball that surinouiited the villaje chnrch splre. The wavi 8, now more subdued, daoced gityj u ever-chans:infr luie, and the picture of the cvening before when the billows dashcd inward with resietle-8 force, seenied part of a vivid dre.iin. But the "eagle's eyrio" the monarch of the Iore8ts about, was K"e. There it lav, toawd upon the beach, riven and ¦hattered, uith its llmbs broken and twistcd, like some old veteran wounded to dcatli on a baltletíeld. Not a trace ot the cagle's nest was visible, and all that was left to remind the wonderlng people of its former cxlstenoe was the puny body of the young ealet that had been left in the nest, and had been crushed to di atli in the fall of the tree. In conclusión it is, perhap, well to state that the ill luck predicted to fall upon the person who molested the nest never carne to pass, for the daring young lad who climbed the tree is a wealtliy and prosiierous merchant to-day.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News