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The Eagle Healer
Once upon a time there lived a prince who loved nature. He always spent time in the forest, that bordered his castle. His favorite spot was a glade about one mile into the forest. In the glade there was a stream, that bubbled and laughed, and flowed into a pool at the center. This was the only place the prince ever went, and all he did there was sit under a tree and enjoy the quiet of the trees around him.
One day, upon arriving at the glade, he saw that someone else was there. It was a woman that was bending over something that writhed and screeched on the ground. As he continued to watch, he realized the writhing mass was an eagle. The eagle was trapped in a net and the woman was trying to cut it loose. She started to sing softly, in a language the prince did not recognize, but it seemed to calm the bird. With the bird still, it took her only a matter of seconds to cut him loose.
Once the eagle was free, it tried to fly away but one of its wings was broken. The woman sang again and laid her hands on the injured wing. The prince suddenly noticed that there was golden light flowing from her finger tips and soaking into the wing. When she stopped singing, the eagle flapped its wings and took off; the wing completely healed.
The woman rose and turned around so that she faced where the prince was concealed. He held his breath hoping that she would not notice him; but he was in awe, for she was very beautiful. Her long flowing hair, was a shade lighter than golden, streaked with dark brown high-lights and her eyes were an ebony black.
Suddenly she smiled and started walking forward, toward where the prince was hidden. As she came she spoke, her voice was soft like a breath of wind making its way through a clump of trees. “Why do you hide from me?” The prince was shocked, how had she known he was there? She stopped a few feet away.
“Come out so that I may see the one who has been spying on me.” Her voice was light with laughter; the prince ventured out of the thicket.
“How did you know that I was there?” He asked. “And I was not spying, just, merely observing you from the thicket.” He said, with feigned contempt; she laughed.
“I did not know you were observing me until I turned around and saw you.” She laughed again and continued, “You may have thought you were well hidden but my eyes are like eagles'. They can penetrate the darkest of dark places to see what lurks there, and determine if they are friend or foe.”
She walked over to a large stone and sat down. The prince did the same, then asked, “How did you heal that wounded eagle?” She looked up, almost bemusedly, as he continued. “I saw golden light flow out from your fingers and it healed the broken wing. Who are you anyway, to have such great power?”
“I am Galena the healer of the eagles that roam this forest and yonder mountain. I was found and adopted by Arn, Lord of the Eagles. He taught me everything about the magic of healing eagles,” she paused. “But I'm unable to bring them back once they're dead. I live in the eagle palace at the top of Mt. Smoky and I have never left this forest.
“I travel by eagle to get to the wounded ones, on time. I perform my healing magic, they are cured or healed, and I can be on my way. I usually go flying for a bit, for relaxation. I love the eagles, they are my only family and my duty is to heal them….. Now tell me about yourself and who you might be.”
“I am Prince Oren of this region, and I live in the castle about a mile from here. I do not like being a prince, it is very boring and tiresome, but I must. The only place I can find any peace is in this glade. it's a place to get away from the monotonous life at the castle. I love nature and I enjoy seeing breath-taking views….Not your usual prince am I? But, that's me.” When he finished, Galena suddenly spoke in an enthusiastic voice.
“I can show you the most magnificent view you could ever see, and to get there we will ride eagles!” Before the prince could say anything, she sang a tune and two majestic eagles came swooping down to land by her. “Come,” she said. “You may ride on one and I'll take the other”
They both got onto the eagles and with a call from Galena, they took off. The prince caught his breath as they went soaring up higher and higher. Up above the tree tops, into the clouds, then down again to where they were flying level with the mountain. The side of the mountain rose up before them, then they landed on a cleft in the rocks. Both got off the eagles and sat down.
The prince, facing the valley, saw the land stretching before him. It was astounding! He spotted his castle, some what in the distance, and he could just make out the glade where he had met the eagle healer. It was a fantastic sight to behold and he marveled over the vastness of the valley.
After about an hour of sitting there, talking and admiring the gorgeous view, Galen said that it was getting late and they must return to the glade. They mounted the eagles, again, and took off. Flying low over the tree tops, at a heart wrenching speed, they made good timing.
The reached the glade and the prince got off the eagle, then said, “That was most enthralling, thank you. I am glad I was able to meet you and to converse with you. It was also a great honor to have flown and seen the best sight here, with the eagle healer.” He finished, bowing to her as she sat astride her eagle, then turned around to go. But he paused as she said, “It was my pleasure to have given you, Prince Oren, the satisfaction of seeing that wondrous sight and speaking with me. I hope to give you the honor again.”
With that, her eagle rose up into the air but before she was out of ear shot he called, “I would be delighted to have that ride again and to talk with you, Galena the eagle healer!”