I remember my first eagle ceremony when I turned nine. The first eagle you get is always declawed, which I always thought was pretty inhumane, but it was a good way to ease into caring for the birds. My eagle (named Baldy, because I wasn’t a terribly clever child) was already quite old when I received him (he was a rescue eagle, luckily) but I did have him until I was 16. I don’t know if I was more excited about getting my drivers license that year, or my new eagle! You should have seen the party we had when I got him, too! Grilled hot dogs and fire works and lemonade…. obviously I named my beautiful new eagle Freedom. He’s too big to keep inside anymore, unfortunately, but we’ve got a pretty comfortable roost for him on our apartment’s balcony.
Ah, yes, the eagle ceremony! My Justice and I remember his quite well. (They had just come out with telepathic link transplants when I got him, which is how I know he remembers it.) Our celebration was quite modest, compared to Freedom’s—apple pie under a cloudless summer sky as we signed our Declaration of Interdependence. I still have the inked and talon-pierced document hanging on my wall.