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Good Stories for Great Holidays by  Frances Jenkins Olcott

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SAINT CUTHBERT'S EAGLE

BY THE VENERABLE BEDE (ADAPTED)

ONCE upon a time, the good Saint Cuthbert of Lindesfarne, went forth from his monastery to preach to the poor. He took with him a young lad as his only attendant. Together they walked along the dusty way. The heat of the noonday sun beat upon their heads, and fatigue overcame them.

"Son," said Saint Cuthbert, "do you know any one on the road, whom we may ask for food and a place in which to rest?"

"I was just thinking the same thing," answered the lad, "but I know nobody on the road who will entertain us. Alas! why did we not bring along provisions? How can we proceed on our long journey without them?"

"My son," answered the saint, "learn to have trust in God, who never will suffer those to perish of hunger who believe in Him."

Then looking up and seeing an eagle flying in the air, he added, "Do you see the eagle yonder? It is possible for God to feed us by means of this bird."

While they were talking thus, they came to a river, and, lo! the eagle stood on the bank.

"Son," said Saint Cuthbert, "run and see what [279] provision God has made for us by his handmaid the bird."

The lad ran, and found a good-sized fish that the eagle had just caught. This he brought to the saint.

"What have you done?" exclaimed the good man, "why have you not given a part to God's handmaid? Cut the fish in two pieces, and give her one, as her service well deserves."

The lad did as he was bidden, and the eagle, taking the half fish in her beak, flew away.

Then entering a neighboring village, Saint Cuthbert gave the other half to a peasant to cook, and while the lad and the villagers feasted, the good saint preached to them the Word of God.

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