The Falcon

The Falcon

The Falcon. 2016. Oil on Canvas. 79cm x 99cm.

A man and his Falcon represent the rich feathered plumage of man-bird history. Much more than just some flight of fancy, there are many heights to this raptorial rapport. A hawk heritage that spans centuries, this avian alliance was born of practicality but has evolved into sport, status, and sanctity. It is the stuff of legend, books, and movies, not least of which is my childhood heartbreak, Kes, from the novel, A Kestrel for a Knave, by Barry Hines.

Personally, I’ve only ever owned a budgie, a couple of tits and a Florida-born, red-bellied Somalian parrot called Bruce. Bruce was very special and we had a great, but overly exclusive relationship: With a razor-sharp beak he disliked almost everyone else, and unfortunately, most of my friends and family thought he was a vicious little bastard.

Bruce and I would spend countless hours together accompanied by his affectionate rhapsodic regurgitation, and as much as he made my heart soar, his continued dominating presence led to conjugal conflict, spousal spats and familial fretting. My adulthood heartbreak version of Kes ended with Bruce leaving me for another man, Mike, who worked at the local vet. One of the very few other men that Bruce liked, Mike left to take a new job in Southern Florida, and Bruce returned with him to his old hatching grounds. The moral to my story—take your wife to the pet shop when you buy a parrot.

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