HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
February 12, 2007, Herald Journal

The eagle and the deer head


Imagine yourself standing out on the back stoop of your home near Juneau, admiring the beautiful Alaskan scenery, and perhaps enjoying an adult beverage.

Suddenly, a sinister shape appears in the sky. As it draws nearer, you can see it is some kind of bizarre and frightening creature that you have never seen before.

It has a tremendous wingspan and some sort of spiky appendages that look almost like antlers.

It draws closer still, and it appears almost as if the winged demon wears a grotesque caricature of a deer head.

Terrified, you leap into the safety of your kitchen and bolt the door behind you. Frantically, you peer out the windows trying to get a glimpse of the creature, but it has passed out of sight over the tree line.

Suddenly, you hear a terrific explosion, and the room is plunged into darkness.

It could happen.

The Juneau Empire recently reported that 10,000 customers were left without power as the result of a situation that was caused by a bald eagle.

It appears that the eagle found a nice deer head in the landfill.

The bird was in the process of lugging its prize home when things went terribly wrong. Apparently, it underestimated the extra lift it would need in order to clear some power lines with its heavy load.

It crashed into transmission lines owned by Alaska Electric Light & Power near the company’s Lemon Creek operations center.

Fortunately for consumers, the resulting power outage lasted less than an hour. A customer heard the explosion and notified the power company. An emergency crew was dispatched and was able to quickly locate the source of the problem.

When workers arrived on the scene, they found the now dead eagle and his prize deer head on the ground nearby.

Company spokeswoman Gayle Wood said the landfill has a program to discourage eagles, ravens, and other birds from feeding there, but it didn’t stop this eagle.

“This would have been a major score,” Wood said. “That eagle would have been the king eagle of the Lemon Creek group.”

But, of course, the ambitious eagle never got the chance to show his prize to his friends.

There has got to be a lesson here somewhere.

If we get a bit too greedy, or if we try to bite off a bit more than we can chew, sometimes there are consequences. We just might get burned.

In the case of the poor eagle, not only did it turn out badly for him, but he likely scared the bejeezus out of any casual observer that happened to witness his final flight.

If we are presented with an opportunity that seems too good to be true, it probably is. If we try to take advantage of these situations, we may be shocked by the results.

When we are faced with a situation where a quick profit or a big score seems almost too easy, it would be wise to remember the plight of the poor eagle. Remembering his misfortune might just help us avoid a nasty shock of our own.