Story by: Deanna Lawrence, Executive Director, Keystone Woods
We have a resident here, Mr. Lucius, who used to have a business called “Birds of Prey”, and he would go to schools, nursing homes, etc., to show his birds and to educate folks about them. One of his birds was a female golden eagle. The eagle had been shot somewhere in Maryland about 25 years ago, and the government knew that Mr. Lucius was an expert bird handler so they sent him the eagle. He nursed the eagle back to health and developed a strong relationship with the eagle for about 15 years.
Unfortunately, Mr. Lucius had to give up his business when his wife became ill with Alzheimer’s Disease. He had a friend who adored his birds and quit her job to take over the business. The eagle would allow only Mr. Lucius and this woman to come anywhere near her. If a stranger ever comes close to her she spreads her wings in an attempt to flee.
The woman came to Grayson House with the birds today. Mr. Lucius hasn’t seen the eagle in about 12 years. The big question of the day was whether or not the eagle would remember him. When the woman took the eagle out, she had Mr. Lucius approach her. The eagle just sat there and allowed Mr. Lucius to pet her chest without flinching. It was simply a beautiful sight to behold! There wasn’t a dry eye in the place, including mine, of course! Fortunately, his daughter was here to witness all of this, and she was crying her eyes out! She knows (and perhaps he does, too) that this may be the last time that he will have the opportunity to be with his eagle, and it was a treasured moment that I will never forget. It was amazing to be able to make his dream come true!