Birds of a feather #writing #carrotranch #flashfiction

Charli is prompting us with a raptors this week

October 19, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a raptor. Let your imagination take wing, or dive into natural science. Tell a story about flight, talons or tail-feathers. Create a myth or share a BOTS (based on a true story). Set the raptor in a spectacular place or focus on bird itself. And for clarification, raptors are eagles, hawks, falcons and owls.

A kestrel was the first bird of prey I recall. We lived at the top of a hill and our house was surrounded, in my childhood memory with pines and oaks. Somewhere, in some high branch this extraordinary aviator nested.


Dad knew. He had eyes like a hawk when it came to birds and his excitement was palpable. It never diminished. Even into his 40s, when we walked across the boggy heath land of the New Forest for the first time and he saw a buzzard his eyes shone. The hover is what did it for him, that ability to hold its position and then dive. That’s what he loved about these raptors. Enraptured.

It is perhaps one of many lessons dad taught me without being aware of it – the ability to remain childlike in the face of natural wonders.

This week’s flash involves Paul and his daughter Penny on a day out.

Learning from the birds

‘Next Colin will fly over there; we’ll entice him back with a little treat.’ The handler oved his hand and the eagle hopped across.

Penny’s eyes were wide with excitement. ‘How does he make him do that, dad?’

Paul said, as the bird soared high. ‘No idea but I’m not sure you ‘make’ them. It takes team work.’

‘But he’ll come back, won’t he?’

‘There must be a risk he won’t. It needs trust. Like any relationship.’

Penny nodded.

Paul watched as she gasped at the bird’s dive. If only it was so easy with human relationships, he thought.

And if you want more on their family, click here

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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14 Responses to Birds of a feather #writing #carrotranch #flashfiction

  1. Norah says:

    Love this, Geoff: ” the ability to remain childlike in the face of natural wonders.” It is such an important way to maintain joy in life, finding joy in the everyday and natural wonders.
    I love your flash too. I have been to many birds of prey shows and marveled at the training of the birds and bravery of the handlers. On a recent holiday both of my grandchildren got to hold an eagle. It was almost as big as they. I’m pleased I wasn’t there watching though. A week earlier I heard a report of a handler being bitten on the mouth by an eagle – split her bottom lip to her chin. Ouch! That would have hurt!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. jan says:

    There is really nothing as beautiful as a bird in flight. Even a bird of prey.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I watched a movie two nights ago Geoff called ‘Healing’ an Australian movie about prisoners who look after injured raptors until they can be released again. It’s a good story and it contains the most beautiful photography of the birds on ground and on the wing. Plus Hugo Weaving as a proper person – worth a watch!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sacha Black says:

    Love how you capture human nature in 99 words. Everytime they’re so thoughtful 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aquileana says:

    Beautiful, Geoff I especially liked this line: “It is perhaps one of many lessons dad taught me without being aware of it – the ability to remain childlike in the face of natural wonders”… I guess that the ability of surprise and amazement are gifts…
    I also like the ending lines. Made me think of how much more easy-going Nature is when it is not forced by any mean. (Maybe human relationships are not that natural, at the end?).
    By the way, I have just purchased your four books on Amazon (their prices were low, so I bought them all! 😉 ) I am looking forward to reading at least one … just to start…
    Thanks… wishing you the best.- Aquileana 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills says:

    Like others reading your post, I’m struck with hope by your Dad’s lesson, to maintain “the ability to remain childlike in the face of natural wonders.” So uplifting, that ability. I love your flash and Penny’s awe at the raptor and her dad’s lesson on relationship risks. I used to be able to call to red-tailed hawks when I rode horseback in the mountains, and once I tried it with the osprey on Elmira Pond and was surprised when they’d respond. Maybe I missed my calling as a a raptor whistler.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Hey now there is a post on animal empathy and how we find we can relate to different species better than others. There’s a bit of a Doolittle in all of us.


  7. Pingback: Flight of Raptors « Carrot Ranch Communications

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