A man found an eagle's egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. Years passed and the eagle grew old.
One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. The old eagle looked up in awe.
“Who's that?” he asked.
"That's the eagle, the king of the birds,” said his neighbor.“He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth; we're chickens.”
So the eagle lived and died as chicken, for that's what he thought he was.
There’s a famous story about the lion who came upon a flock of sheep and to his amazement found a lion among the sheep. It was a lion who had been brought up by the sheep ever since he was a cub. It would bleat like a sheep and run around like a sheep.
The visiting lion went straight for him, and when the sheep-lion stood in front of the real one, he trembled in every limb. But the lion said to him, “What are you doing among these sheep?”
And the sheep—lion said, “I am a sheep.”
And the lion said, “Oh no you’re not. You’re coming with me.” So he took the sheep-lion to a pool and said, “Look!” And when the sheep-lion looked at his reflection in the water, he let out a mighty roar, and in that moment he was transformed. He was never the same again.
-stories from Anthony De Mello