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The naturalist

One day, a naturalist decided to take a trip through the most inhospitable regions of the Andes. Western civilization had barely penetrated these regions and he believed that natural phenomena were still waiting to be discovered in these pristine areas.

He was a famous man. He was known far and wide. Not only in professional circles, but he was also known and loved by the general public. His documentaries were often awarded with prestigious awards and he was a wealthy man. He had been everywhere and seen a lot. Yet he was still able to be amazed by the things he encountered. And he was always eager to share his wonder at the discoveries he made with the world. Not for fame but for the sheer joy of being amazed at the richness of nature. He happily exchanged his comfortable apartment for a draughty shelter on a deserted hill or a damp tent on the edge of a swamp, with the sole aim of being able to contemplate the wonders of nature and share them with the general public.

In his long career he had traveled all over the world. He had visited the coldest arctic regions and the hottest deserts. He had been sweating through the rainforests of South America, suffering from the millions of tiny mosquitoes on the tundra of Siberia. He had camped on deserted Pacific islands, descended into the deepest troughs of the oceans, and climbed the highest peaks of the Himalayas. And yet on this trip he would see something he had never seen or experienced in his long career.

The trip

After a long flight to the capital of one of the Andean countries, he drove into the interior by jeep. And as the trek progressed, they slowly but steadily climbed the foothills of the Andes, and at the end of the third day he could see the high peaks in the distance. The roads got narrower and worse until he was forced to exchange his jeep for a sturdy donkey. He continued with a local guide until after another ten days of walking he arrived in a village in a deep valley. It was in this village that the naturalist first heard about the special phenomenon he would later face face to face with.

A special phenomenon

Every visitor to the remote mountain village was a special feature. And certainly a westerner caught the interest of the local population. It did not take long before the naturalist and his guide were summoned to the village chief. After welcoming them, the village chief, through the intermediary of the guide who also acted as a translator, asked what the naturalist's goal was to venture so far into the Andes. The naturalist told about his long journeys and the purpose of his journey through these remote areas.

When the chief had understood that the naturalist was looking for special natural phenomena, the chief told about a remote village on a plateau where “el hombre que amaba a las águilas como los pollos” lived. The naturalist heard the story with increasing amazement.

The story seemed so incredible to him that he insisted on checking the truthfulness of the story of “el hombre que amaba a las águilas como los pollos” for himself. According to the chief, a man who kept eagles as if they were chickens lived in that distant, remote village.

The naturalist and his guide set out early the next day to the village where “el hombre” would live. The chief had said the village was on the edge of a high mountain plateau on the edge of a deep ravine, eight days' walk from their own village.

When the naturalist and his guide found the mountain village after a hard-hitting tour late in the afternoon, he burned with curiosity to discover this curious “el hombre” that kept eagles as if they were chickens. The mountain village was nothing more than a meager collection of sturdy mountain huts of stacked stones, clinging desperately to the edge of the cliff, just as the village chief had described. And there, somewhere, in that village, lived “El hombre que amaba a las águilas como los pollos.”, The man who kept eagles as if they were chickens.

Found it!

The naturalist and his guide had been spotted from afar, and the whole village was out. A few curious kids with frayed clothes and brats were only too willing to show him the way. And yes, just outside the village, at the extreme edge of the plateau, was a small, somewhat sunken mountain hut with a low, dilapidated wall around it. The naturalist knocked and a scruffy man barefoot and dressed in a dingy sweater full of holes opened the door. The guide told the man what the purpose of their visit was and asked if he had "el hombre que amaba a las águilas como los pollos." used to be. The man laughed and asked the naturalist to return the next day. The eagles sat on a perch, he said. "It is really true," said the man. “I had just put them up for the night you arrived. Everyone sits in their own place on the roost, just like chickens. The highest in rank is at the top. Come back tomorrow, senor, then you will see for yourself ”.

After a sleepless night, the naturalist was up early and walked quickly to the cottage. He knocked, el hombre opened the door, and with a wave of his hand he invited the naturalist to follow him.

The Eagles'

Behind the house, the naturalist saw a provisionally timbered chicken run. A chicken coop filled with ……. eagles. The appearance of a stranger caused a great panic among the eagles, which fluttered about in terror and took cover as far back in the cage as possible with shrill screams. After some time, peace returned to the coop and the eagles began to do the things that are usually seen in chickens doing. They scurried around, pecking for small insects and the kernels of corn the man scattered around. Sometimes they flew together to confirm the ranking among themselves. When a speck appeared in the high sky, they rushed to the loft, startled. "Yes, yes", said el hombre, "they are even afraid of their kind as soon as they show up."

The naturalist could not believe that such proud and wild birds, made to soar on the broad, strong currents of air along the peaks of the Andes, would be locked up and behaved. “In fact,” the man laughed, “they don't even want to leave”. The naturalist thought that was the pinnacle. He asked if he could observe the birds for a longer period of time. 'No problemo', according to el hombre.

Fear of freedom

The next morning, at first light, the naturalist was back in the little garden of 'el hombre'. He opened the loft, sprinkled some corn kernels and put down fresh water. Reluctantly, the eagles came out of the loft, somewhat timid because of the presence of a stranger. When they discovered the corn, however, they were literally there like the chickens. Satisfied, the eagles pecked at the corn and scuttled around in the sparse, stiff grass in search of a cricket or worm. It was an astonishing sight and the naturalist was dumbfounded. They behaved like chickens in every way. How was it possible! Only a low wall separated these majestic birds from freedom. What kept them from taking off? To float along the steep slopes, looking for a careless mountain marmot, a gemsbok or other prey? Wasn't that their nature? Wasn't that in their blood?

Perhaps they could not see the vastness of the mountains through the wall that lined the back town, the naturalist thought.

He asked el hombre if he could lift an eagle to show him the grandeur. “But of course, señor”, el hombre laughed, “Be careful. They will peck at you and spread their claws. But you will see that they do not want to leave ”. And when the naturalist picked up the largest eagle and carried it to the edge of the plateau, the bird screeched and flapped its wings anxiously, trying to return to safety in the sheltered backyard as quickly as possible. A second eagle responded the same and then a third.


The naturalist was puzzled and asked el hombre what he had done to make the eagles believe they were chickens. “It's very simple, señor,” he explained, “if you treat the animal long enough whether it's a chicken, feed it or it's a chicken, and house it or it's a chicken, you will eventually forget it automatically its true nature ”. The naturalist was perplexed; it couldn't be that simple, could it? “Certainly, señor”, el hombre laughed, “The young eagles that are born take over exactly what they see and therefore stay here neatly. In the safety of the backyard and the hen house ”. A reasonable treatment and regular food, fresh water, some shelter from the elements, did the rest, according to el hombre.

“But”, said the naturalist, “eagles are still very well adapted to wild life. The mere fact that they are there is proof of their evolutionary success ”. "But they'll stay with me anyway, señor," grinned el hombre.

Removing collateral

The naturalist resolved to return the eagles to their natural habitat. It took a lot of talking and convincing to make el hombre see that trapping the eagles was not a good thing. Finally, el hombre reluctantly agreed to try to get the eagles to spread their wings again.

First they tried to demolish it through the wall around the backyard. This gave the eagles a clear view of the deep valleys, steep slopes and the high peaks of their natural habitat. The only effect was that the eagles hardly dared to leave the chicken coop for the first week after the wall was demolished. After a week they got used to it and started rummaging around in the yard again but stayed remarkably far away from the leap to freedom.

Then they decided to take the feed from the eagles. Perhaps hunger would lead them to search for food beyond the boundaries of the yard. But that only resulted in some rummaging outside the backyard around the house. But at the first suspicion of danger, they dashed back to the safety of the backyard. The eagles grew thinner because they were no longer fed, and they fought among themselves for the scarcity of cricket or spider they found in the dust of the backyard. Every night all the eagles returned to the shelter and safety of the cage and roost together. And although the door of the hutch remained open to freedom, the eagles chose to stay in the hutch.

Freedom at last

In a last-ditch effort to force the eagles, the naturalist en el hombre decided to tear down the chicken coop. When they demolished the loft the next day, nothing actually happened. By evening, when the eagles were used to roost, there was great unrest among the eagles.

But it wasn't until the next morning, when the eagles had spent a restless night, huddled together to find some shelter, that one bird crept slowly but steadily to the edge of the plateau where the wall used to be. The naturalist and el hombre watched breathlessly. The bird cautiously approached the edge of the plateau and looked into the void. He stretched his wings and screamed and screamed. With one last fierce cry, the bird plunged into the void and disappeared from view. After a few moments of intense tension, the naturalist en el hombre saw how the bird, carried by the wind, slowly gained height in a circle. They watched the bird until it was no bigger than a tiny dot against the infinite blue of the sky.

The moral of the story? Obviously things are not going bad enough yet

The results are already clear just after the elections. More than 20 percent voted for a criminal organization. The rest voted for a party (D66) that has clearly exchanged the D for democracy for the D for Dictatorship. Corona dictatorship, Europe dictatorship, environmental dictatorship, cross out what does not apply.

The parliament is provided with a load of fresh yes-men. The only person who can rightly call himself a representative of the people, Mr Omzigt, is purged. Parties that have given their unconditional cooperation to the dictatorship are eligible to be elected to join the coalition. GSP and GPV have already been bought through an exemption to just go to church together.

A large part of the voters have been rudely thrown into the garbage to be bombarded as second-class citizens under the dictatorship. Nappies walk in parade step in blind adoration after Savior Rutte.

All this will only change when the nappies realize that all their securities are slowly but surely being stripped. And only when they themselves have their backs to the wall will they perhaps start to think and make a different choice.

Until then, they are satisfied with the obligation to veil themselves, gene therapy, canned cheers at Ajax-Feyenoord, paying taxes for marginalized education and scaled-down health care, corona propaganda and collaborating with fascists.


Karel Nuks

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