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A forest ranger is making rounds in a remote part of the wooded reserve when he comes across an unkempt man, sitting at a make-shift campfire, and, to the ranger's astonishment, eating a fish and a bald eagle.

The man is consequently put in jail for the crime. He was soon brought to trial for his crime. The Judge asked the man, "Do you know that eating a bald eagle is a federal offense?"

"Yes, I do, Judge," replied the man, "but if you will let me argue my case, I'll explain what happened."

"You may proceed."

"I got lost in the woods and hadn't had anything real to eat for two weeks," the man explained. "I was so hungry, I was eating plants to stay alive. Next thing I see is a Bald Eagle swooping down at the lake grabbing a fish. I thought 'If I startled the eagle, I could maybe steal the fish.' Low and behold, the eagle lighted upon a nearby tree stump to eat the fish. I threw a stone toward the eagle hoping he would drop the fish and fly away. Unfortunately, in my weakened condition, my aim was off, and the rock hit the eagle squarely on his poor little head, and it killed him. I thought long and hard about what had happened, but figured that since I had killed it, I might as well eat it, since it would be more disgraceful to let it rot on the ground."

The Judge says he would take a recess to analyze the defendant's testimony. Fifteen minutes goes by, and the Judge returns.


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