Once upon a time, the eagle was flying aimlessly across the sky when he suddenly saw a beautiful red-headed creature walking on the ground. It was the hen, who was looking lovelier that day.
The eagle came near the hen and said, “My pretty hen, I love you very much. Will you be my mate?”
The hen was scared for the eagle was so strong. Her husband, the cock had gone out to search for food and her kids had gone away somewhere to play with other children. She lived alone.
Quickly thinking up a way to avoid any quarrel, the hen answered: “I am willing, but let me first grow wings like yours, so I can fly as high as you.”
The eagle replied: “I will bring nice feathers for you, and as a sign of our betrothal I will give you this ring. Keep it safe. Tie it around your neck until I return.”
The hen promised to do so, and the eagle flew away.
When the cock met the hen the next day, he was very much surprised and annoyed to see the ring around her neck. He said: “Where did you get that ring? I don’t think you love me anymore. You promised to be my mate just a few days ago. If you still want to keep your promise, throw that ring away immediately.”
The hen did this and the cock regained his cheerfulness.
But as the week came to an end, the eagle came back with beautiful feathers to dress the hen. The frightened hen hid behind her door but the eagle soon found her out and was about the gift the beautiful dress to her when he suddenly gave a cry and said:
“But where is the ring that I gave you? Why are you not wearing it?”
The hen was too scared to answer but at last, she said,
“Forgive me! I lost it yesterday. I was walking in the garden when I met a large snake. I was so frightened that I ran back fast. But when I came back, I saw the house. When I reached it I found that I had lost the ring, and I looked everywhere for it; but alas! I have not yet found it.”
The eagle looked keenly at the hen and said: “I don’t believe one word of what you have said. You have hurt me badly and have been unfaithful towards me for that cock. I will punish you for this. If you marry him, I will snatch away all your chickens from you. I promise to forgive you and accept you as my mate only if you find my ring. Good-bye.”
With these words, the eagle flew away. And ever since, all the hens all over the world have been scratching the ground to find the eagle’s ring.