1 My life has been filled with prejudice and reject, mainly from my own mother. Now it will all be over soon, once I reach a small, rocky island off the Alaska coast. My father, the only person that would ever help me, will be living there, too, so that I will not be alone. He is the one writing all of this down, since I can no longer write ever again.
I had a tiny problem; I could become a bald eagle. Every time, though, I would become an eagle without any warning, and I would stay as an eagle, without the ability to transform back, at least until nightfall arrives. Now I am one forever, without a chance to be human again.
It first started when I was only in preschool. I was outside with everyone else when it happened, and every one of my classmates surrounded me and watched. When I had finished, they went to tell the teacher, who, obviously, didn't believe their story, and when she found out that I was nowhere to be found, she reported me missing, and got the police involved. I was so scared when my classmates went to tell the teacher that I flew up into the nearest tree, without wondering how I already knew how to fly, and stayed there until my father came to get me when the sun had set.
When he first heard on the news that I was missing, he somehow knew what had happened. When he drove up to the preschool and saw me in the tree, he climbed up, and brought me down without even wondering who I was.
When his feet touched the ground, he said, "I had a feeling that this would happen."
I flew to the ground, and I finally transformed back, looking at him. He knelt down and embraced me tightly. "I promise to make your life easier."
And my father kept his promise; whenever I had become an eagle at school, he would be there. When my mother found out about the situation, however, she refused to take part in anything I tried to do. All she would ever do is put food on the table, and have small talks that would eventually get my father involved into an argument. Whenever they began to argue, I would run upstairs, and go into my room, not wanting to hear them.
My father never intentionally tried to argue with my mother; he knew that I hated fighting. It was always my mother who would pick the fight, though she never won it, though neither did my father; before it ever got out of hand, he'd walk away, usually to wherever I ran off to, comforting and apologizing for anything I might have heard from their fight.
It went on until I was in fourth grade where it stopped completely. I waited a week in case it started up again, but it didn't happen. My mother was as happy as a lark, taking care of me like she never had before; my father, though, had a feeling that my transforming would start up again at any time, and he made sure that I was safe.
One day, about two days before school would start, my parents and I were sitting in the living room, with my mother on a chair, and my father and I on a couch. My mother looked at me, and said, "You haven't become an eagle in a while, Jes."
I just glanced at her, then turned away. "Don't remind me."
My father knew what was going to happen, and he placed a hand on my shoulder. "Jes, are you all right?" he asked quietly.
I looked at him and nodded, trying to smile. He smiled slightly, then looked at my mother, who looked at him.
"Why don't you take out all of that junk out of her room, and repaint the walls? She doesn't need to have it look like any bird lived there."
When I began to transform, my father had painted the room to make it like an eagle's natural habitat, in case I might have lost control of my body, which happened once or twice a year, and had placed a handmade, 5-foot perch right by the foot of my bed.
"I can't do that to her," he replied, trying to keep his voice as calm as possible. "I have to keep everything in there in case it starts up again."
"Oh, it won't start up again; if it hasn't happened in five months, then it's obvious that it won't happen again."
Knowing that she was trying to make an argument with my father, I got up, and went into my room, sitting on my bed with tears trickling down my face.
It wasn't long before I heard, "Jes, may I come in?"
"Of course, Daddy," I replied, as the door opened, and my father came to sit with me.
"I'm sorry that you had to hear most of that," he said.
"Don't be sorry; it wasn't your fault."
He smiled, and embraced me. "You know that I will always be here for you; if anything happens, I'll be right there to help you."
"I know you will; you have always been with me, and that's all I need."
He laughed slightly, and said, "I'll be right back; I have to get something."
As he left, I was still sitting on my bed when I felt myself shrinking in size.
"Oh, no!" I cried, as feathers began to sprout onto my body. I called out for my father, and at first he didn't come. When I called out the second time, my voice had change to sound like an eagle calling out from a cliff.
My father came running into my room, just as I finished with my legs becoming talons.
"Oh, Jes…" he said, as he walked up to me. I flew up to his outstretched arm, and he began stroking my back. "You were afraid of this to happen; I was, too."
But then, my mother came in, saying, "Jes? I heard you calling out, and I thought…" When she saw me on my father's arm, it looked like she was ready to scream.
"Not again!" she yelled, "not again will I have to deal with this!"
I looked at my father, and he looked at me.
"Jes, get out of the house, now!" my mother yelled.
I was about to fly off his arm, not wanting to disobey my mother. "Wait a minute," my father said, getting me to stop. I could tell that he was ready to raise the volume of his voice. "Why does she have to leave the house? She doesn't deserve any of that."
"She deserves anything that happens to her! She becomes a bird for God's sake!"
"But that doesn't mean that you have to treat her like some stranger in our house!"
I wanted to run from the argument and my mother's harsh words, but I didn't want to leave my father's side; I had done that so many times, yet that did us no good. My father looked at me, and sighed, then left my room with me still on his arm. He and I left the house, and he sat by a small maple tree just beginning to show off its beautiful leaves.
"I'm sorry you had to hear another argument, Jes," he said, looking at me.
It's okay, I wanted to tell him. I get used to it after a while.
He seemed to have known what I wanted to say, for he smiled, and began to stroke my back again. I looked at the house, and saw my mother looking at us disgustingly from her bedroom window.
Mom doesn't truly love me, I thought. If she did, then she would loved me like Daddy does.
We returned to the house, and my father refused to talk to my mother. Once we were in my room again, I flew onto the bed, just as I began to transfigure back to myself.
My father sat on the bed with me again, and said, "I know you may be getting tired of my saying this, but I promise to help you out in any way possible."
I embraced my father. "I never get tired of hearing that; I just wish Mom could be like you."
My father smiled, and changed the subject temporarily. "Do you think that you should go to school?"
I nodded. "I want to try to have a normal life."
Again, my father smiled, and put an arm around my shoulders. "You remind me so much of myself; I have no worries about you…well, maybe I do, but none that are too severe."
Later on that night, as I got ready for bed, I transfigured again. I had to sit on the perch all night, which was so uncomfortable, that I could not sleep at all. It wasn't until about an hour before the sun was about to rise when I finally transfigured back, and got a little bit of sleep.
When my father woke me up about two hours later, I told him what happened that night, and he allowed me to sleep in, since I was still exhausted. It was about five minutes before noon when I got up, well rested to (try to) live a normal life. My mother refused to feed me because I slept in.
"I don't give food to those who miss a meal," she had said, not looking at me.
My father ignored her, and gave me a late breakfast. Later on, while I sat on my bed, in my room, he came in, and sat with me.
"Are you sure about going to school?" he asked after a couple of minutes.
I nodded. "I'm willing to take the risk."
Again he smiled, but that time sadly. "You know that I'll pick you up if anything happens, right?"
Again, I nodded, smiling as I embraced him. "You always do, Daddy."
He sighed deeply, knowing that I wanted to keep everything positive, in hopes that I wouldn't get provoked at school (because whenever I was provoked, I would transfigure at that time).
The very next day, I had school, and it ended up being my last day at school ever. After making sure that I was going to be okay, my father dropped me off, and I went to my classroom.
Everything went well, at least until recess. I was leaning against a small oak tree sapling that had grown into a six-foot tall tree, which was by the front of the school, when a lot of my former classmates approached me, and said, "Hey, Birdie, I didn't think that you would be here; you know, with your little problem!"
I only glared at them, just as I began to have the urge to run; whenever I had the urge to run away from them, I would end up transfiguring. However, just when I thought that they were going to leave, I began to transform. Once I was able to, I flew up to the highest branch, and just sat there, while the others went to tell the teacher, whom didn't believe it, not to my surprise. Then, the teacher went to the office to report me missing, which always got the police involved.
I waited for my father to come and get me, which would usually be around the time when school was let out; however that time came and went, yet he didn't come. I began to worry that something happened that prevented him from coming.
Soon, the sun was just beginning to set, and he still didn't appear. I flew to the top of the fence, in case that he came, but didn't find me, yet he wasn't there.
While I was there, I saw a tiny brown mouse, looking around, when it saw me, it began to run, but I flew to the ground, thinking that I may have a friend at last.
"I'm sorry if I scared you," I said. "It's just that…I don't have any friends, and I'm not supposed to be an eagle. I'm supposed to be human."
The mouse was trembling, as I got just a little bit closer. "Please don't be afraid of me; I won't hurt you at all. I just want someone to be with me until my daddy comes."
Then, I heard it say, "You promise?"
I nodded, just as the sun completely concealed itself, and the moon began to rise. A large, white van came up to the side of the road near the fence, and a car door opened and closed. Thinking that it was someone else, I was about to fly off, however my right wing got caught on part of the fence. I struggled by the eagle's instinct to get free, however the pulling broke open my skin, and my shoulder began to bleed, which made it worse.
Then, I heard, "Jes?"
I turned to see my father, carrying a flashlight, running up to me. "Daddy!" I called out, knowing that he couldn't understand me.
Once he was by my side, he gently helped me get free, and helped me onto his arm. Tears were trickling down his face, as he brought me to the car, and brought me to the back, so that I was safe.
"I'm so sorry for not coming to pick you up sooner; it was your mother again that kept me from going," he said, as he drove the van home. "She had taken off the door handles on almost every single door to get out of the house, and I had a hard time getting out."
It's all right, Daddy, I wanted to say. I know that you didn't mean to.
When we got home, like always, my mother was nagging about me being in the house whenever I transformed, and my father ignored her, bringing me into my room. Once I was safe, I was able to transfigure back to myself, with the opened area on my shoulder disappearing, though what seemed to be a scar shown upon it.
Once I was myself again, I embraced my father happily. "I knew that you wouldn't have forgotten about me, Daddy," I said, feeling tears trickling down my face with joy.
He smiled slightly, then frowned sadly. "I just wish that I had gotten there sooner." He looked at the small mark from my wound, and he asked, "Are you okay?"
But then, my mother came storming in, and said, "Jes, I want you out of my house, now."
I didn't look at her, and my smile that I had faded. "Daddy has been right about you, Mom; you're too selfish to realize how horrible my life has been. You don't care about me at all!"
Then, with tears trickling down my face, I ran out of the house, and into a nearby forest, where a small wooden house was built by my father. I entered the house, and turned on a small lamp, sitting in a small chair to wait for my father, if he came to find me. I transfigured once again, and sat on top of the chair.
When he came about twenty minutes later, he sighed sadly, and sat in another chair beside me.
"Oh, Jes…" he said sadly. "I wish I could make your life easier." Tears trickled down his face, as he gently stroke my feathers with two of his fingers. I looked at him sadly, then turned away. There was nothing he could do to make my life any easier; I became a bald eagle for no reason, and because of it, my mother hated me, and everyone at school made fun of me.
I flew to the floor, and began to transfigure back into myself for the final time of my life. I looked at my father, and embraced him, tears trickling down my face. "I love you so much, Daddy; I know that you want to make life easier for me, but even you know that there is no way at all."
He shook his head. "No, there is a way to make your life as easy as possible; I know there is," he replied, as I saw tears trickling down his face some more. He looked at the moon out of the window; it was high enough to tell that it was passed midnight. "You don't need to go to school tomorrow; it's too late to get up early, and, well, maybe it would be best if you don't go." He smiled sadly, and concluded with, "We'll sleep here tonight; you should get some rest."
I nodded, yawned, then slowly walked into one of the rooms, and got ready for bed; however, I couldn't go to sleep at all for some reason. I laid there for what felt like forever, at least until I heard my father yell in pain.
I got up quickly, and ran into the other room; my father was crouched to the ground, as feathers began to sprout from his body, and his face reshaped into an eagle's head. When he finished transfiguring into an eagle, he turned to see me wide-eyed.
"Daddy?" I said, walking up to him. I heard him sigh, as he fluttered onto the high part of a chair. "You have the same problem?"
He nodded. "This hasn't happened in years," I heard him say.
"Is this why you always help me, because you know how it feels to have others reject you?"
"You're partially right; I know how it feels, but I didn't only help you because of it. I love you more than anything else in the world, and if something were to happen to you, whether you were normal or not, I would feel like killing myself just to know that you were going to be okay." Then, he turned away sadly.
"What's wrong, Daddy?" I asked, knowing that there was one thing he wasn't saying.
"This very thing happened to my own father as well; I was around your age when I first found out about this problem that we both had, and when it actually started for me. It had stopped for him around the time he met my mother. When it started up again, about a month later, he lost control of his body, and never became human again. I don't know if he had regained his control over his body, but all I know is that about three years after he disappeared, someone had accidentally killed an eagle; I knew that it was my father who was killed then. I don't want that to happen to you if you end up losing control over your body; I'd rather have it happen to me. If that ends up happening to you, first, then I promise to help you stay as safe as you can, even if it means going to unusual places for humans to settle in."
I felt tears trickling down my face, as all of a sudden, he began to transfigure back to himself. I embraced him tightly, and said, "Oh, Daddy, why didn't you tell me before, when all of this started?"
"I didn't tell you because, well, I didn't want to worry you, and I guess I didn't want to worry myself, though I worried about you every single day," he replied, as he embraced me, too, tears also trickling down his face.
Just then, the moon began to set, starting what would become my worst day ever. It was worse than the very day I started to become an eagle, worse than when I started up again after an entire summer break of not becoming an eagle at all.
I sat on a small couch my father bought for the small wooden house, feeling great headaches that temporarily blinded me, and I began to breathe heavily. My father knew that I was going to be the first of us that would lose the human body forever, and he stayed by my side the entire time. He closed all of the doors, and all of the windows, adding a little extra here and there on the windows in case I lost control, and the eagle that controlled me thought that it was a free way out.
Three hours came and went like a car speeding down the racetrack at Daytona Beach, and nothing really intense happened for a long time. My father kept me in his arms, as tears streamed down my cheeks, for I was terrified on what was going to happen next.
"Daddy, I'm scared," I whispered.
"I know, Jes, I know," he replied, as he gently rocked me back and forth, comforting me.
All of a sudden, I had a massive headache, one larger than the rest combined. I yelled in pain, as my body shrank for the final time, and as feathers permanently grew from my body. For several seconds, I was blinded due to the pain, but after what seemed like minutes, I was able to see through eagle's eyes for the rest of my life.
For a moment, I expected to lose control of my body; however, I looked around freely, without any signs of losing control. I looked up at my father, tears streaming down his face as I fluttered onto the rim of the couch.
"Daddy, don't cry," I said, not fully sure if he understood me. "Please don't cry."
He gently wiped away his tears, though they continued to show themselves on his face. That was when I noticed that his eyes were gold, not brown, which made me think that my eyes were gold as well, when I was able to understand him when he became an eagle the other night.
"Oh, Jes…I wished this happened to me instead," he said sadly. He gently stroke my feathers, looking at me with teary eyes.
"What can we do now?" I asked.
He looked around, and saw a picture on a rocky island, with only a few trees, and an eagle sitting on one of them; a man was sitting beneath the eagle, looking at it speculatively.
"I know where that island is; it's isolated off of the Prince William Sound, away from any other inhabitants," my father said, still looking at the picture. "Rarely people go there, usually for research, however I have heard that some people, people who might have had the very same problem we have, went to the island and never returned. I bet you anything that's where others go if they have the exact same problem, though it may be a little different than us."
I looked at the picture; it kind of looked like me as an eagle, with my father looking back at me. I had a feeling that the island was where I should go, where I might belong with the others who had almost the same problem as I had, as my father had.
"We should go there," I said, looking back at my father. "And, I might as well live there, too."
He looked at me. "Are you sure? If there is anyone who tries to bully you over there, I don't want to leave you there."
"It may be best for me; even though I haven't lost control of my body yet, it may happen later on."
My father sighed, not looking at me for a few moments. "If that's what you want, Jes, then I'll take you there," he said. "I'll stay there, too, just to keep you company."
"Oh, Daddy, there's nothing there; you could die if you can't find any food."
"Don't worry about me living there with you, Jes; you know that I can take care of myself." He got up, and brought out his arm. I perched on it, and we left the small wooden house forever.
Editor's note: Being a friend of this young girl who became an eagle, I happen to know the fate of her and her father.
She did end up living on the island for a while, though her father decided to temporarily leave to hand me her story. However, on that very day, he ended up becoming an eagle in my office, and lost control of his body. Somehow, I could hear what he said, and before he left, he told me, "If my daughter ever comes to find me, find her and tell her everything that happened to me." I asked if there were anything else. "Yes; tell her…tell her that I love her so much, and if anything ever happens to her, whether I gain control of my body or not, tell her that I'm sorry for everything that happened to her from the day she first started transforming."
With that, I never saw him again. About a month later, however, I found the girl, as an eagle, of course, and she asked me if I had seen her father recently. I explained all that happened, and what he told me to tell her, and ever since, she was in depression. She decided to live with me, and every day, she would go out to find her father, yet she was unsuccessful.
Then one winter day, while she was out, I went through the forest, and found, to my horror, a dead eagle. I knew then that it was the girl's father, so I gently picked him up, and brought his body back to my home, where she was there waiting for me to return. When I showed her the body of her father, she cried, and cried, and she left, with me never seeing her for a while.
I did end up finding her two years later, living back on the rocky island in Prince William Sound. When she saw me, she flew off, and I knew that she, too had lost control of her body. I followed her every day, wondering if she had willingly gave up her body. All I know is that she was captured later that year, and was sent to the Anchorage Zoo, where I ended up taking her from there and kept her with me for the rest of her life. Though she has now deceased, I knew that she would have wanted everyone to know about her life, and what happened afterwards.