The Tale Of the Youth
and the Eagle
One day, a youth was hunting
in the mountains, when an eagle flying above him alighted on
top of a crag. The eagle was very large and carried a snake
in its beak.
After a while, the eagle flew away
from the crag where it had its nest. The youth then climbed
to the top of the crag where he saw, in the nest, an eaglet
playing with the dead snake. But the snake was not quite dead.
Suddenly it stirred, and poised itself to strike the eaglet
with its venom-filled fangs.
At once, the youth took his bow and
arrow and shot the snake. Then he took the eaglet and started
Suddenly the young man heard above
him a loud whirring of eagle wings.
"Why are you kidnapping my child?" cried out the eagle.
"The baby eagle is mine because I saved it from the snake which
you failed to kill, " answered the youth.
"Give me back my child, and I will give you as a reward the
sharpness of my eyes and the powerful strength of my wings.
You will become invincible, and you will be known by my name."
So the youth handed over the eaglet.
After it grew up and learned to fly, it was always to be seen
high above the head of the youth - now a full-grown man, who,
with his bow and arrows, killed many wild beasts of the forest,
and who, with his sword, slew many adversaries. During all of
these feats, the eagle faithfully watched over and guided him.
Amazed by the valiant hunter's deeds,
the people of the land elected him king and called him Shqiptar
which is to say 'Eagleson'. And his kingdom became known as
Shqipėrie which in Albanian means Realm of Eagles.
But beyond that mountainous land,
the Realm of Eagles is known as Albania, which
means Land of Snowy Peaks.
(Adapted by Anthony Weir and Zana Banci
from a translation by Fehime Pipa and Van Christo.)