Winged creatures are almost universally regarded as symbols of spirituality.
Is there any evidence to regard them as such in this tale?
Bald-Eagle has fire.
Meadow-Lark has far sight.
Rice-Bird can play dead.
Not a bad ‘trawl’.
On his way back to the lodge to re-instate ‘natural law’, Bald-Eagle creates a valley with his wings.
This valley alerts Skunk to Bald-Eagle’s cognisance of his ruse.
It is tempting to regard the rest of the action of the story as taking place within this ‘wing-formed’ valley.
The sight which greets Skunk on his return to the lodge is not a happy one.
Does Skunk show any remorse for the actions which have led to this unhappy state?
He does not.
He thinks only of revenge.
He thus reinforces and perpetuates the consequences of his original error.
The ‘reflection trick’ played by Bald-Eagle and the Plover sisters on Skunk may further emphasise their spiritual nature and Skunk’s now inevitable distance from that ideal.
His subsequent attempt to ‘storm the ramparts of heaven’ lead only to a further loss of status and also the loss of his, potentially, one and only saving grace.
Skunk’s musk-sac, caught in the current of the river, drifts off downstream without him.