The eagle has the longest life-span of its species. It can reach up to 70 years. But to reach this age, the eagle must make a hard and painful decision.
When an eagle reached near 40, its beak1), talon2) and feathers become weak. Its short, sharp beak becomes bent. Its long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey. Its old and heavy wings with their thick feathers become stuck to3) its chest and make it difficult to fly. Then, the eagle is left with only two options: die or go through a painful process of change which lasts five months.
When the eagle feels weak and about to die, it retires to a place far away on the top of a mountain and sits on a nest. For new life, the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks4) its beak out. After plucking it out, the eagle waits for a new beak to grow back and then it plucks out its talons. When its new talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its old feathers. And after five months, the eagle takes its famous flight of rebirth and lives for 30 more years.
Some change is needed to survive in difficulty. In miserable5) condition, we have to change our life style. That process may be very painful. But sometimes we have to throw off our old habits, memories and traditions. We can't go ahead with all our past burdens.
1. beak [biːk] n. (鹰、鹦鹉等的)喙
2. talon [ˈtælən] n. [常作~s] (鸟、兽，尤指猛禽的)爪
3. stick to: (使)粘贴在……上；(使)固着在……上
4. pluck [plʌk] vt. 拔；摘，采
5. miserable [ˈmɪz(ə)rəb(ə)l] adj. 悲惨的