Magnificent as the eagle is in appearance, he certainly does not, on the score of intellect, deserve the rank he holds as king of birds. Except that he will fight bravely now and then for his young, I know of no good quality he possesses.

A countryman in the Highlands, to whose farmyard an eagle had paid several unwelcome visits, carrying off ducklings and chickens, determined to have his revenge. Sallying forth, gun in hand, he climbed up the rocky side of a neighbouring mountain, when he saw, high above him, the nest of the eagle. Shouting loudly, he discovered that neither of the parents were at home. Taking off his shoes, he was ascending towards the nest, when, about halfway up, while he was standing on a ledge, holding on tightly to a rock, he espied a hen eagle rapidly approaching, with a supply of food in her beak. Immediately, and with a terrible scream, she darted towards the intruder. Unable to defend himself, he expected to have his eyes torn out, when he let go, and slipped to a broader ledge. Again the eagle pounced upon him; and so close was she, that even then he could not get a shot at her. In desperation, he took off his bonnet and threw it at the bird. She, seeing it fall, immediately followed it to the foot of the rock. This gave him an opportunity of bringing his gun to bear on her. The shot took effect, and she fell dead far below him.