"I want to fly like an eagle, till I'm free. Fly like an eagle, let my spirit carry me." -- Steve Miller Band, 1976
Nathan is a young boy who has cerebral palsy. He uses a walker and a wheelchair for mobility.
Nathan's neighbor, Ms. Sandy is a raptor rehabilitator. She takes in injured raptors (birds of prey) and nurses them back to health. In time, she retains them to survive in their natural habitat.
Nathan dearly wishes he could be more helpful to Ms. Sandy and her birds. When an injured female owl named Fire is brought to her, it is Nathan who helps Ms. Sandy work with her. The bird's wing is broken and had to be reset; while Fire is healing, Nathan cleans the aviaries and fills the water pails.
In time, the owl's wing heals. Eager to be on her way, she tries to fly, only to crash to the ground. Dispirited, Fire languishes in the cage while Ms. Sandy explains to Nathan that she cannot be returned to the wild with that traumatized wing. Nathan bonds with the bird, knowing just how painful it is to wish for freedom and mobility, only to find it inaccessible. He brainstorms to come up with an idea to help the bird.
Going online, Nathan reads about injured female birds acting as "mama" birds to orphan birds. Suggesting this to Ms. Sandy, the pair bring some orphaned owlets to Fire. That is very heartwarming, as is Fire's feeding the little owlets.
This is a beautiful and very moving story that might make you cry. The boy's love for the bird and the parallels he sees in his own life and that of the bird named Fire are truly heartwarming. It is this kind of indomitable spirit that makes one think of the Steve Miller 1976 classic, "Fly Like an Eagle."