Tag Archives: pride

The Proud Eagle

“This is a story about an eagle and the issue of pride that has been, uhh… told generations after generations to caution the young generations about not to be too proud of themselves and be humble. I’ll say this story in Farsi first, and then translate it in English. [Tells story in Farsi]

Now translate in English, the story about a proud, extremely proud eagle. And as he was flying, I… says to himself, ‘I’m so proud of myself, and my power, and how I can see things, and I’m the strongerest, the strongest eagle on Earth, and anything down there, if it moves, I can tell, I can sense it.’

As he was flying, a hunter down below, using bow and arrow, aimed at her… uhh… and sh… sh…, you know, aimed an arrow at her. Uhh… so causes the eagle to start falling. As… he was, uhh… I’m sorry, I changed my pronouns! You know, I went from he and she; can we redo that?”

No, it’s fine, you can keep going!

“[Laughs] Okay. As he was falling down, uhh, he was looking at the arrow that caused him to fall, and noticed that the, uhh, the important thing that was guiding the arrow was a feather of another eagle. That caused his fall. And eventually his demise.

So the story goes to explain that, uhh, most of the things that are happening to us, are as a result of some of the things we’re doing, uhh, due to our neglect, due to our incompetence, that’s happening to us.”

 

Analysis: This story is very similar to tales and proverbs in other parts of the world relating to pride. I am reminded of the English phrase, “Pride comes before the fall,” which is itself derived from the Bible. It seems to be a very common belief that excess pride often results in one’s own misfortune, but it is interesting to note that in this case, the story is told from the perspective of the Eagle. Not only this, but the hunter is not seen as good or evil, he is instead a merely neutral actor. This places all of the responsibility for wrongdoing on the Eagle’s pride, instead of the entity that caused the Eagle direct harm.

The Legend of the One-Eyed Gangster

So this kid lived in my neighborhood – I don’t even think this is worth telling because it’s so ludicrous – he was like, “Yeah, I’m like wanted by this gang member who lives across the train tracks from us.” And he only has one eye and he wears an eye-patch. (laughs) And when he kills people he takes their eyes and makes a stew and eats this eyeball stew. (laughs) So he’s like, “yeah, I started dating his girlfriend and then 15 of his thugs jumped me in an alley and I killed all of them, but then he like, killed my girlfriend and so I had to bring her body back and I left it on the doorstep of her parents house. But they saw me put it there so they thought I did it…so I had to watch her funeral from afar.”

 

This story is indeed ludicrous, and was probably told to my informant just to be an entertaining story that would impress listeners with the tale teller’s character: he tangled with dangerous people, was skilled in battle, and ended up dating the girlfriend of the gang leader – a bold move. They both also lived in the same town that had cultures divided by train tracks, which I’ve only heard of in films and books until this point. So, the gangster coming from the other side of the tracks evokes a sense of otherness.