My Quest for a Dead Eagle

By Shawn

Recently I learned, courtesy of the New York Times,* that this country has a National Eagle Repository. Apparently the purpose of said repository is to keep dead eagles handy for Native Americans who want to employ dead eagles/dead eagle parts in traditional ceremonies. When I read about this, it delighted me to no end. There is a building somewhere, maintained at taxpayers’ expense, whose sole purpose is to store piles of dead eagles. There are people whose job it is to put dead eagles in bags and mail them. Somehow this is a possible career path.

I have to wonder how one winds up in that line of work. How does the government advertise it? Word of mouth? Craigslist? And is it anyone’s first choice? Has there ever been a kindergarten class in which something like the following transpired?

Teacher: What do you want to be when you grow up, Billy?
Student #1: An astronaut.
Teacher: And you, Jason?
Student #2: I want to stuff giant bird carcasses into what look like large sandwich bags, then ship them to historically oppressed indigenous groups.
Teacher: Well, in that case, you’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of you, young man.

But all that aside, I have to say, I’m glad this valuable public service exists. In fact, I can only think of one problem with the National Eagle Repository, which is that it demands a certificate of Native American tribal enrollment before it will send you an eagle. Look, I get why this is. Eagle corpses don’t grow on trees, so it makes sense to prioritize people who need them for traditional cultural practices. Still, exceptions ought to made for those of us who are not Native American, but nevertheless would very much enjoy a dead eagle.

I think I am one of those people. Your average person would be at best “pleased” to receive an eagle-bag in the mail. I, on the other hand, would be in seventh heaven. I would have an eagle-gasm. When I tell my friends this, they protest: “But Shawn, what the hell would you do with a dead eagle?” What wouldn’t I do? I’d name it something unbearable, like “Eagle Knievel” or “The Talon-ted Mr. Rip-ley.” I’d take it to class and make students address all their questions to it. I’d attach it to a fishing rod, and fly it at unsuspecting children like so:

And these are just a few of the activities I thought of off the top of my head. I’m telling you, I would enjoy the living shit out of that eagle.

I know, realistically, that the federal government isn’t going to change its policy just for me. So, really, this all a roundabout way of saying, if any of you readers are enrolled in a Native American tribe and are willing to go halfsies on a dead eagle, let me know immediately. (Alternatively, if you just wanna let me have the whole thing, I’ll give you, like, twenty bucks.) Seriously, get in touch. Let’s make this happen.

* New York Times article here:

One comment

  1. Patrick

    I am in Fort Collins CO where the poor man had to wait 3 years for his eagle, let me me know if you want to do some follow-up interviews.

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